At the beginning of every meeting our chairperson reads, “Anything you hear tonight is strictly our own opinions. … If a member says something you cannot accept, remember they are merely speaking from their own experiences. They are not speaking for Nar-Anon. When you leave our meeting, take home those thoughts that will be most helpful to you, forget those you feel will not be helpful, and keep coming back.”

Tradition Six states that we should not endorse any outside enterprise. Tradition Ten builds on and confirms this concept of autonomy. Autonomy is a “personal independence and the capacity to make moral decisions and act on them.” In order for this personal independence to thrive, Tradition Ten states that Nar-Anon should not take a position on any public issues. If we were to become involved in an outside issue, we could bring the Nar-Anon program into the public eye, together with any controversy surrounding that issue. This may alienate people who need our help.

Because our fellowship is made up of thousands of people, who represent all races and cultures, taking a position on a public or political manner could certainly divide our fellowship. Nar-Anon’s primary purpose of providing aid to the families and friends of addicts could be jeopardized by taking such a stand.

Thought for Today: Tradition Ten allows me to have a relationship with someone who has different beliefs than my own. It even allows me to give and get support from people whose personal politics may appall me. In Nar-Anon, this aspect of their lives is not important. We are all here for recovery from the effects of another’s addiction. It is unimportant that one member voted for and another voted against the same drug control proposal. Because of the Tenth Tradition, these issues are not part of our recovery program.

“Patterning your life around other’s opinions is nothing more than slavery.” ~ Lawana Blackwell