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One Ultimate Authority — Tradition Two


“For our group purpose, there is but one ultimate authority – a loving God as He may express Himself in our group conscience. Our leaders are but trusted servants; they do not govern.”

The second tradition asks me to know the purpose of the group I belong to and to trust that the collective decision making of the group is always for the best, even if it is not in line with my personal preference. I am to make decisions based on what I believe to be the best for the group, rather than what my personal preference may be. This idea can be applied to any area of life where I am required to interact with others: my home group, work and in personal relationships.

The purpose of my home group is to carry the message of Alcoholics Anonymous to the still suffering alcoholic. The purpose at my workplace to ensure that my employers make enough money to turn a profit and pay all their employees.  In friendships and relationships, the purpose is unity.

For each one of these area of my life, tradition 2 asks me to set aside my own personal agenda and to want only the good of the group and to help make it work. If I want a good relationship with God, with others and at work, the best thing to say is “thy will be done.”

Sometimes this means it is important to voice my opinion, sometimes it means I should sit on my hands and say nothing. There are very few things I cannot make compromises on. A wise man once said that progress is made through a series of unsatisfactory compromises. One of the best gifts I have received is others allowing me the dignity of making mistakes.

For me to enact tradition 2 well in my life, I need to have an active relationship with God. To do that, I need to be active in my step 11 and to have made a thorough run through of the preceding steps. Sometimes I can’t be sure my ideas are divinely inspired until I run the idea past a trusted fellow or sponsor. God speaks to me mostly through those closest to me in the fellowship.

There are a few ideas contained in this tradition, most important is to trust that what is best for the group, is also best for me. The worst any decision can be is a mistake.

– Tom D.

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