Thought for today:
Money, prestige, and power dominate our world. So how does an “Anonymous” organization exist? Anonymity seems like “ego-deflation” in depth!
Actually, the there is a lot we can learn a lot from anonymity when we consider it…
A personal share:
“When my debting got out of hand, I was grateful DA was there. At that point, I didn’t care about the traditions. But over time, I came to understand how these simple ideas kept this fellowship alive for someone like me.”
The Twelve Traditions explained:
Based on decades of experience from AA, and they are instructive in many ways: We can apply them in all kinds of group dynamics – from our families, to our employment and our communities. We can almost hear the back story/narrative as we consider these principles, 1 through 12. For example:
“1. Our common welfare should come first; personal recovery depends upon D.A. unity.”
Why? We care about people. People should be our primary focus. However, we are not united under any single human authority. Instead…
“2. 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.”
Our leaders naturally work the Steps and Tools of DA themselves, because their solvency depends on it, and having done that important groundwork, we trust them to serve the fellowship. And anyone can serve, as long as they fulfill one simple requirement…
“3. The only requirement for D.A. membership is a desire to stop incurring unsecured debt.”
We don’t exclude anyone who wants to stop debting, regardless of what they have done, where they’ve come from, or their religion or nationality. Our groups are independent, too, for the most part…
“4. Each group should be autonomous except in matters affecting other groups or D.A. as a whole.”
The groups manage themselves with minimal rules. But we have found that DA works best when…
“5. Each group has but one primary purpose–to carry its message to the debtor who still suffers.”
If we divide our focus, it limits our effectiveness in helping the suffering debtor. Especially,
“6. A D.A. group ought never endorse, finance, or lend the D.A. name to any related facility or outside enterprise, lest problems of money, property, and prestige divert us from our primary purpose.”
For example, we should never partner with other organizations, investments or campaigns. In fact,
“7. Every D.A. group ought to be fully self-supporting, declining outside contributions.”
We pay our way, including paying a fair rent to the places we hold our meetings. But we don’t charge for our 12 Step work with the suffering debtor…
“8. Debtors Anonymous should remain forever non-professional, but our service centers may employ special workers.”
The headquarters of DA needs an office staff to help support the many requests, so that we can carry the DA message to the world at large. As a matter of fact…
“9. D.A., as such, ought never be organized; but we may create service boards or committees directly responsible to those they serve.”
We don’t want to have too much organization, because that could divert us from our primary purpose (see Tradition 1). So we go with the least organization to get things done that help our primary purpose. (See how it always comes back to Tradition 1?) In fact, we go so far as to say that…
“10. Debtors Anonymous has no opinion on outside issues; hence the D.A. name ought never be drawn into public controversy.”
Controversy would limit our effectiveness in our primary purpose, so we don’t express opinions on any issues. In fact…
“11. Our public relations policy is based on attraction rather than promotion; we need always maintain personal anonymity at the level of press, radio, and films.”
Our members stay anonymous to help DA at large. We have simple press kits for the media, and we ask that they do not publish our full names or pictures, because…
“12. Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our traditions, ever reminding us to place principles before personalities.”
To the degree that we apply first principles before personalities, we will survive and thrive as a fellowship.
“Am I putting ‘Principles before Personalities?”
Meditation for today:
As we look at a stream, we see it flows. We can see our reflection in it. We don’t know where this water has come from. We are just grateful that it has come to us. We make sure nothing blocks the clear flow of the stream, for it supports life.
Affirmation for today:
“Just for this day, I will be grateful for the abundance in my life. I will recognize that there is enough money, enough time, and enough love.” (From Debtors Anonymous’ “Just For This Day” Bookmark, P-129.)
Recommended Further Reading:
A Currency of Hope (the basic text of DA)
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