Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions


Our basic troubles are the same as everyone else's, but
when an honest effort is made "to practice these principles
in all our affairs," well-grounded A.A.'s seem to have the
ability, by God's grace, to take these troubles in stride and
turn them into demonstrations of faith. We have seen A.A.'s
suffer lingering and fatal illness with little complaint, and
often in good cheer. We have sometimes seen families bro-
ken apart by misunderstanding, tensions, or actual infidel-
ity, who are reunited by the A.A. way of life.

Though the earning power of most A.A.'s is relatively
high, we have some members who never seem to get on
their feet moneywise, and still others who encounter heavy
financial reverses. Ordinarily we see these situations met
with fortitude and faith.

Like most people, we have found that we can take our
big lumps as they come. But also like others, we often dis-
cover a greater challenge in the lesser and more continuous
problems of life. Our answer is in still more spiritual devel-
opment. Only by this means can we improve our chances
for really happy and useful living. And as we grow spiri-
tually, we find that our old attitudes toward our instincts
need to undergo drastic revisions. Our desires for emotion-
al security and wealth, for personal prestige and power, for
romance, and for family satisfactions—all these have to be
tempered and redirected. We have learned that the satis-
faction of instincts cannot be the sole end and aim of our
lives. If we place instincts first, we have got the cart before
the horse; we shall be pulled backward into disillusion-
ment. But when we are willing to place spiritual growth
first—then and only then do we have a real chance.