Wisdom is an “aiming” virtue, one that is directed to the good. It is the ability to discern the good end to be attained in a given situation and utilize the right means to achieve it.
As such, wisdom disposes us to see and to act rightly, directing all the moral virtues (e.g., generosity, forgiveness, compassion) to their particular tasks.
In AA, wisdom follows in the wake of working the Steps, as through our spiritual awakening we gradually grow in the qualities characteristic of wisdom: experience, knowledge, understanding, discernment, insight, foresight, circumspection, discretion, and prudence, among others.
Through wisdom we discern how to make amends in Step 9 so as to avoid further harm, foster healing, and achieve reconciliation. We grow in our receptiveness to wisdom in Step 11, where we seek conscious contact with God as the source of all wisdom, seeking his will for how we are to live our lives one day at a time. Through wisdom also we discern how best to work with others and carry the message of recovery in Step 12, whether at meetings, one-on-one as sponsors, or in some other setting or capacity.
Wisdom permeates the Traditions, informing the discernment of our common welfare in 1, our group conscience in 2, the relationship between the local group and AA as a whole in 4, our primary purpose in 5 and 6, self-support in 7, no professionalism in 8 and 9, no controversy in 10, attraction rather than promotion in 11, and principles before personalities in 12. In the latter two, wisdom is at the heart of anonymity, the spiritual foundation of all the Traditions.
[Image: Fitz M., AA #3 in NYC and author of “Our Southern Friend” in the Big Book, where he's first introduced as "the man who thought he was an atheist" (pp. 55-56). For audio of his story and for Q&A about it, please click on links.]