AA’s Three Legacies
Taken together, the Steps, Traditions and Concepts embody what are know as the Three Legacies of Alcoholics Anonymous: Recovery, Unity and Service.
Recovery has given us a second chance to find happiness and freedom; to live useful and productive lives. The 12 steps and the Big Book are know as Recovery and are the entire foundation of the program. Bill W.’s words in the forward of the book Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions states that; “AA’s 12 Steps are a group of principles, spiritual in their nature, which, if practiced as a way of life, can expel the obsession to drink and enable the suffered to become happily and usefully whole”
Unity has provided us with a fellowship made up of people who share our own common problem; who give us the love and support necessary to maintain our sobriety. AA’s 12 Traditions present the principles which support the unity of the AA fellowship at the group level. ” AA’s 12 Traditions apply to the life of the Fellowship itself. They outline the means by which AA maintains it’s unity and relates to the world about it, the way it lives and grows.” from AA co-founder Bill W.
Service offers us the opportunity to implement our primary purpose ” to carry the message to the alcoholic who still suffers” Service in AA is based in the 12 spiritual principles know as the 12 Concepts, which are found in the General Service Manual and the appendix of the Big Book of AA. “Our Twelfth Step – carrying the message – is the basic service that the AA Fellowship gives; this is our principle aim and the main reason for our existence. Therefore, AA is more than a set of principles; it is a society of alcoholics in action. We must carry the message, else we ourselves can wither, and those who haven’t been given the truth may die.” from AA’s Legacy of Service, The AA service Manual
” So the solution to our Alcoholism/Addiction is found in the Three legacies – Recovery, Unity, Service – given to the whole membership of AA by its founders ( Bill W. and Dr. Bob) and their fellow old-timers. Each legacy has 12 guiding Spiritual principles for a total of 36 guiding principles.”