Here is what Jimmy K. said about our Traditions:
Jimmy K’s 20th Anniversary Talk (excerpted) LOS ANGELES AUGUST 18, 1973
“we’re funny people, the more we try to do things together, the more we fight each other and the more we tear each other apart, tear down the very thing we try to build. And that’s been the history, up until a few short years ago, of Narcotics Anonymous. We tore down as fast as we built. That’s the kind of people we are and we must recognize that to recover. All of us must know the nature of the illness, the nature of the illness, the nature of the addict, and the nature of recovery.”
1. “Before NA there was HFD, Habit Forming Drug Groups [who] demanded certain things, and were dominated by one or two persons. You know, you and I don’t go for authority, we don’t like authority. “
2. Some people “from East LA formed another group known as Addicts Anonymous… they died very quickly because they too were dominated by one man.
3. “So, we found out very early, and our experience has taught us that we can have no bosses, no big shots in Narcotics Anonymous.”
4. “Due to some things that happened and due to the nature of the addict, the nature of our illness, some people were put in a position where they became the leaders again, the Great White Father. You know, we can’t have a Great White Father or a Big Momma, you know, it doesn’t work in this organization. And NA died once more.”
5. ‘But again and again this happened in this organization. One person would try to dominate the whole movement. And every time it happened we began to die. Because the Traditions go down the drain when we try this.”
“the Traditions must be followed if we were to grow…We could take our own place as a fellowship, and not be dominated by or affiliated with anything or anybody else.”
“Because the policies of the Traditions are enough to guide us in what we have to do. The Traditions will save us from ourselves. And this is what is so necessary for a fellowship like ours.
One More Day
Historic continuity with the past is not a duty, it is a necessity.
– Oliver Wendell Holmes
Our personal histories mark the pathways of life. Our having lived and loved and worked makes a difference in thousands of ways. This impact on life is a history and heritage for our loved ones and for ourselves. What memories have we created for those we love? Perhaps quilts that will be treasured as family heirlooms. A family farm or profession? But what else?
Even more important than heirlooms and family jobs are loving memories and personal histories. Recorded histories, especially anecdotal, can be written or tape recorded. Pictures can be taken, and older photos can be labeled for the generations to come. What will we leave when we die? Communication, tradition, and the ability to love unconditionally.
This small but important moment is a good time to record my journey thus far and to affirm my sense of continuity.
“future happiness can be based only upon forgetfulness of the past.”
We think that such a view is self-centered and in direct conflict with the new way of living.
Henry Ford once made a wise remark to the effect that experience is the thing of supreme value in life. That is true only if one is willing to turn the past to good account. We grow by our willingness to face and rectify errors and convert them into assets. The alcoholic’s past thus becomes the principal asset of the family and frequently it is almost the only one!
This painful past may be of infinite value to other families still struggling with their problem. We think each family which has been relieved owes something to those who have not, and when the occasion requires, each member of it should be only too willing to bring former mistakes, no matter how grievous, out of their hiding places. Showing others who suffer how we were given help is the very thing which makes life seem so worth while to us now. Cling to the thought that, in God’s hands, the dark past is the greatest possession you have – the key to life and happiness for others. With it you can avert death and misery for them.