Tradition One (Short): Our common welfare should come first; personal recovery depends upon C.A. unity.
Tradition One (Long Version): Each member of Alcoholics Anonymous is but a small part of a great whole. A.A. must continue to live or most of us will surely die. Hence our common welfare comes first. But individual welfare follows close afterward. (A.A.12&12:189)
CA World Service Handout – Unity
Through applying the Twelve Steps and the Twelve Traditions, we grow in love, tolerance, and respect for each other. This spiritual growth allows us to rise above prejudice, regardless of religion, ethnicity, economic status, age, gender, or sexual orientation, to carry the C.A. message. Though we are different, we are the same. Regardless of the author, we share the same story. Recovery is possible—together.
AA, Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, P. 130
“…he finds he cannot keep this priceless gift unless he carries the A.A. message…the moment this Twelfth Step work forms a group, another discovery is made—that most individuals cannot recover unless there is a group. Realization dawns that he is but a small part of a great whole; that no personal sacrifice is too great for preservation of the Fellowship. He learns that the clamour of desires and ambitions within him must be silenced whenever these could damage the group. It becomes plain that the group survive or the individual will not.”
Clarifying Questions and Answers:
Q: What is each member of Cocaine Anonymous? A: A small part of a great whole.
Q: What must C.A. continue to do? A: Live or most of us will surely die.
Q: What must come first? A: Common welfare comes first.
Q: What follows? A: Individual welfare follows close afterward.
- Do I refrain from talking about people behind their backs? Do I walk away when others begin to gossip?
- Do I focus on my own program of recovery?
- Am I patient and tolerant of those who offend me?
- Do I encourage and support harmony within the group?
- Do I withhold negative remarks about other groups or fellowships? Do I show others the same respect I want for myself?
- When I attend meetings, do I participate by reading, sharing, and helping others?
- Am I willing to share all aspects of my experience, strength, and hope at CA meetings?
- Do I attempt to change my behaviour when I notice it conflicts with the traditions?
- Do I maintain a feeling of gratitude for being a recovered addict?