Shoemaker, stick to thy last! . . . better do one thing supremely well than many badly. That is the central theme of this Tradition [Five]. Around it our Society gathers in unity. The very life of our Fellowship requires the preservation of this principle.
The survival of A.A. depends upon unity. What would happen if a group decided to become an employment agency, a treatment centre or a social service agency? Too much specialization leads to no specialization, to frittering of efforts and, finally, to decline. I have the qualifications to share my sufferings and my way of recovery with the newcomer. Conformity to A.A.’s primary purpose ensures the safety of the wonderful gift of sobriety, so my responsibility is enormous. The life of millions of alcoholics is closely tied to my competence in “carrying the message to the still-suffering alcoholic.”