Our Common Welfare Depends on Putting Principles Before Personalities

Our common welfare depends on DA unity

Thought for today:

When a DA group joins together in unity to carry its message, it attracts newcomers.  If a DA group is fractious, with members publicly working against each other during meetings, it hurts the group, and DA.

We must stay vigilant against becoming self-important or overbearing.  DA has brought us solvency, and we must keep DA alive.  Thankfully, DA offers a wealth of experience with dealing with such group problems.

DA Tradition 1

Our common welfare should come first; personal recovery depends upon D.A. unity.

DA Tradition 12

Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our traditions, ever reminding us to place principles before personalities.

A member shares:

“I was a control freak for a while at my meeting.  I’d always argue over minutia with other members during meetings, in front of newcomers.  I may have had a valid point, but I now realize that it got lost by the rude way I voiced it.

“We’ve lost more than a few people because I just didn’t know when to shut up and let the group run on its own without stirring up controversy.  In AA literature they call people like me ‘bleeding deacons’ – preachy, controlling and fearful.

“I’ve had to practice detachment with my group.  I never realized how awkward everyone felt around me until I stopped doing it.

“Now I let the leader make mistakes while running a meeting without constantly correcting how they follow the group’s format.  At least they are doing service, and I should be grateful for that.  At business meetings, I keep my comments in the ‘I’, meaning I don’t try to place blame, I try to be forgiving.

“DA is bigger than any one person.  It is not the place for self-importance, griping during meetings, and otherwise acting out like babies.  We are should always place principles before personalities, and detach from difficult personalities.”

What principles?

The principles DA stands for are found in the three legacies we need to carry on:  Recovery, Unity and Service.

The Twelve Steps teach us how to recover from compulsive debting.  The result of hundreds of groups’ experiences staying unified formed the Twelve Traditions. The Twelve Concepts remind us that service is essential for DA to survive.

Before we correct another member who is doing service and running a DA meeting, we should consider “how important is it to be right”?  Will a newcomer get a message of conflict or unity if we speak up?  Is it better to speak with the leader privately, after the meeting?

Are we interjecting with kindness or haughtiness?  Are we promoting love, or our own importance in the “grand scheme of DA”?


Do I try to control meetings?  How is that working for my group?

Meditation for today:

Love is the answer to all of life’s problems.  Love can lead to healing and growth.

There are many opportunities in our days to turn toward love.  Listening to someone we would normally dismiss.  Making sure to communicate key news about a work project to those who need to know.

A ‘healing circuit of love’ is created when we let love guide our decisions and actions.  We need always include our Higher Power’s love in every decision.

Affirmation for today:

“I am on good terms with all people, especially myself.  I don’t need to run anyone else’s life to find fulfillment.”

Recommended reading: 

DA’s Eighth Tool is D.A. and A.A. Literature: “We study the literature of Debtors Anonymous and of Alcoholics Anonymous to strengthen our understanding of compulsive disease and of recovery from compulsive debting.”

Alcoholics Anonymous Big Book

Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

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