Tradition 1. Our common welfare should come first; personal recovery depends upon AA unity.
Tradition 4. Each group should be autonomous except in matters affecting other groups or AA as a whole.
Unity of purpose is required for any endeavour to be successful. Four pallbearers will be unsuccessful in carrying the coffin to the grave if they all start walking in a different direction. They do not, however, have to wear the same tie. Unity and uniformity are therefore different questions, and unity permits lack of uniformity, provided that the common goals can nonetheless be met. The group can do what it wishes provided it does not affect other groups or AA as a whole; all AA groups do not need to be the same. The preservation of AA's overall goal, to recover and help others recover, is actually promoted by the lack of uniformity, because the variety amongst AA groups enables more people to find their home in AA.