Monthly Reflections from The Connection
THE TWELVE TRADITIONS
The 12 Traditions are the guidelines by which our group and our fellowship function. They have proven over the years to be an effective way of holding the fellowship and individual groups together.
Tradition 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.
I’m thankful for the cautionary nature of Tradition 11 in two ways. First, it keeps us from being promoters: people who make promises (like a snake oil salesman!) Instead of promoting the fellowship of EA, we help to attract people to the possibility of the promises of EA coming true in their lives. A secondary caution - the harder part of this tradition - is the element of anonymity and how that’s ham-strung many people from sharing the program with others - when anonymity is too narrowly interpreted. The founders of our program wanted us to avoid have any one person speak for EA as a whole. The founders wanted us to avoid having a person be seen as a representative of EA who might later bring shame to the program through a public scandal – hence the need for anonymity in a public setting involving press, radio – and now days – the internet. May our Higher Power, active in our lives, continue to guide us to attract others to this lifesaving program in ways that it can help them – just as it’s saved my life - practicing caution along the way… Scott J/President, Board of Trustees
In my experience with the program, it’s been important to understand the terms referenced in Tradition 11. It really talks about two related ideas. The first is about attracting, rather than promoting, the EA fellowship; the second is about maintaining anonymity in our external communications. Attracting something means to draw in or entice, while promotion is meant to increase interest in or demand for something. They are similar, except promotion may conjure the idea of promising a great outcome – such as smooth skin in ads for face cream. Maintaining my anonymity, in the sense it’s used here, means not identifying myself or any one individual or group as representing the EA fellowship as a whole. It is related to the idea of “principles before personalities.” I sometimes ask myself how I can spread the news about the program to more people in need? How do I do this humbly, without making promises? How can I discuss what I feel is the great hope offered by the program, but avoid presenting myself as EA “spokesperson?” It is worth thinking about...Colleen C/Secretary, Board of Trustees
Once we understand the EA program and the positive power that it can have in our lives, many of us are anxious and excited to get the word out about it to friends, family and anyone who will listen. It is understood that relating our experiences, and the way that we utilize and benefit from the program is acceptable and in some cases encouraged. But there is a line as it pertains to promoting the program. Not only does the fellowship not want to make flashy promises about what the program can do, but it also does not want to make the program about any one person or persons. There are many ways that members can attract people to the program without engaging in flashy promotions and I hope that fellow members continue to inform others of our program in ways that respect Tradition 11...Paul N/Treasurer, Board of Trustees
Someone once told me that “promotion” involves making promises about results. A cosmetics company promotes its product with promises of eternal youth. Politicians promote their campaigns with promises of lower taxes or safer streets. However in the EA fellowship we don’t promote. EA doesn’t promise results, doesn’t promise an emotional cure, doesn’t promise a perfect life free from strife. Instead of promotion we attract prospective members, and we can do this through outreach. Outreach is not promotion; it makes no promises about results. Outreach means letting people know that EA exists, sharing our mission and values, and telling them what our fellowship offers: a safe, supportive environment where everyone is welcome to work on their recovery. Outreach, either person-to-person or through EA literature or other means, is not only completely consistent with Tradition 11 but also necessary if our fellowship is to grow and thrive...Steven B/Board of Trustees
Please consider adding your own reflections to the EA Trustees' thoughts on the monthly reflection.The order of the Principles and Steps follow the calendar months. In 2019 we will work our way through the Traditions as they relate to the Steps.
If you would like to submit your reflection for publication consideration, email it to email@example.com by the 15th of the month prior to publication. EA needs member involvement! Please keep your submissions to 100 words. Due to space limitations, not all submissions will be published and they may be edited. We will try to include as many as we can!