Tradition Three: The only requirement for AA membership is a desire to stop drinking.
This tradition is quite simple, you only need a desire to stop drinking. You don’t have to promise to stop you only have to want to. Most alcoholics who have lived through the horror of alcoholism have a desire to stop. Chances are they have tried all kinds of things to stop. Only drink beer not hard stuff and never drink in the morning. When they get to the doors of AA it is a relief for most of us that we only have to want to stop and we get to be part of this group.
Tradition Four: Each group should be autonomous except in matters affecting other groups or AA as a whole.
Alcoholics Anonymous is independent of anything outside of AA. We are self governing and answer to nothing other than AA. Each group is allowed to decide what kind of group it should be such as; open discussion, step meeting, speaker ect. Each group does have to stay with the guidelines of AA however.
Tradition Five: Each group has but one primary purpose-to carry its message to the alcoholic that still suffers.
This tradition is what keeps AA what it is today in my opinion. Carrying the message to other alcoholics who still suffer is paramount. Dr. Bob, one of the founders of AA, suffered with a desire to drink for the first two years of his sobriety. The only thing that kept him from drinking was finding other alcoholics. Many people in the AA program do not tell others that they are members of Alcoholic Anonymous or in fact that they even have a drinking problem. I have always been open and honest with whomever I met that I am an addict and an alcoholic because I never know when someone needs to hear that they are not alone. I do not mean to imply that my way is right. It is an individual decision.