PM Quote of the Day — Anonymous

[T]he principle of anonymity has an immense spiritual significance. It reminds us that we are to place principles before personalities; that we are actually to practice a genuine humility.

Yup, I did it... amazing huh?  I dont understand it and dont call me if it breaks... but I did it.

Yup, I did it... amazing huh? Sure I don't understand it, but never mind that. Oh, and call my team if something breaks...

Many misunderstand the main purposes of anonymity in 12-step programs — it isn’t just about protecting a member’s reputation.  While medical treatment of alcoholism and addiction is much more accepted than when AA started in 1935, it still carries a stigma in some circles.

As a practical matter, anonymity also protects the 12-step program itself.  It has become a PR cliche to have a failing celeb hit the rehab circuit — there’s even a Celebrity Rehab series — which is great for making people aware such programs exist.  However, such publicity isn’t exactly great evidence for the effectiveness of the 12-steps.

The deeper purpose of anonymity is seen when we look at the quote: the “principle of anonymity” is something of “spiritual significance.”  12-step programs are quite explicit that the reprieve they offer is contingent on the maintenance of one’s spiritual condition… and self-seeking is hardly a marker of good spiritual condition.

Consciously and notoriously breaking anonymity elevates the member over the fellowship or the program.  It is just like a manager claiming credit for something he/she wasn’t truly responsible for.  Also, ego elevation isn’t exactly what most alcoholics or addicts need.  Ultimately, anonymity protects the alcoholic or addict from the “tyranny of self.”

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