Our common welfare should come first; personal recovery depends on AA/NA unity.
Practicing the principles of Tradition 1 helps create an atmosphere in which everyone can feel welcomed and safe at meetings and in the program. With the spirit of Tradition 1, I try to focus on our similarities rather than our differences, both as individuals and between different groups. Similarities include different aspects of our addiction and our recovery. An atmosphere of unity ensures that we all are welcome and considered equal regardless of age, race, sexual identity, religion, or lack of religion. Knowing that each of us is no better or no worse than any other member strengthens the group unity. Through this inclusion, the person walking into their first meeting is just as important, if not more so, than the old-timer with many years of sobriety. Both individuals can have important contributions including reminding the group of the fresh pain of active addiction to the knowledge and experiences that come with long-term recovery. Those with difficult personalities or mental health disorders can also contribute to the group. I need to be willing to get past my own bias and listen to the messages everyone shares.