10. Controversy



The word “controversy” seems fairly self-explanatory. Controversies can be political, social, scientific and even personal. One party claims something as a fact, while someone else disagrees it is a fact at all.
The definition: Controversy – Acts of disputing or contending
Why would the Twelve Traditions warn against controversy if its members generally agree on the principles of recovery? You might be surprised. Any group of any description can experience internal conflicts and controversies, although they are resolved eventually.
Actually, this tradition warns against being drawn into public controversy. Does AA align itself with one political party more than another? Does AA reject people who belong to a certain social class? Does AA engage in scientific debates with outside institutions? Does AA condemn individual people for any reason? Not that I’ve ever seen.
What’s wrong with controversy? They tend to be very distracting and are seldom very productive. Recover is a process which lives often depend upon. Avoiding outside controversies is one way to keep the group’s focus on its members’ recovery.
My drawing shows a child suffering from an angry and loud dispute between his parents. I suspect many or most of the people reading this writing have had this experience. The expression on his face sums up how I feel when I become caught up in a controversy.
Please notice the pattern on the wallpaper.
  • Comedy vs tragedy
  • Ice cream vs broccoli
  • Christian vs Hebrew symbols
  • Cats vs dogs
  • Chicken vs eggs
  • Apples vs oranges
  • Meat vs potatoes
  • Peas vs carrots
  • Toy dolls vs toy planes

Lastly, please notice the crooked photo of the family happily playing in the snow. I’ll bet the child wishes he never had to hear this kind of family dispute ever again. Twelve Step groups are no different.

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