WHAT I LEARNED: 1. This pamphlet answers the age-old question, “What do principles look like?” The drawings accompany short explanations about the Traditions that originally appeared over the course of 1983 in The Forum magazine.
2. When I think of the Traditions, I usually think “Oh, they’re about unity… they’re for the group, etc…” but what came across to me in this pamphlet is that they’re also for the Newcomer. Not in the sense that a Newcomer needs to start on them right away, but if the group isn’t working them continuously, then it’s the Newcomer that’s affected the most. They are coming to the rooms to get out of a dysfunctional situation, not to walk into a different one. Who would want to come back to that? So Al-Anon keeps the Traditions around, because it’s the Traditions that keep Al-Anon around! It’s like the program’s Möbius strip!
3. The other thing I used to think about the Traditions was that they kept the program from changing. But that’s not the case at all. They’re a guide as the program changes. Al-Anon isn’t done growing yet… & hopefully it never will!