It's so important to live this principle in AA, for so many reasons. It's important to this ego-maniac to be anonymous in and out of AA so I can take the focus off Scott, and keep the focus on the solution to my spiritual, emotional and physical malady. It's important that I be publicly anonymous in AA to keep some sort of "positive" reputation for myself. There's still a stigma attached to alcoholic, although it's not nearly as bad as it used to be. It's important that newcomers feel "safe" in AA, that they can come to a meeting and share what's really going on with them and get help. It's important that they be able to do this and feel like no one will discuss their story outside the meeting. Sometimes, some very public people come to AA for help getting sober. If their disease were made public, it might ruin them and cause great harm to their families. It's vital that these folks feel secure coming to AA to share and get well.
For myself, I don't mind so much that folks know my situation. Now that I've gotten this public job, I am a bit more guarded about my anonymity than I used to be but really I don't think it would be a big deal if anyone "found me out," even in this small town. But, it's also important to AA (which is why it's a Tradition and NOT a Step) that I maintain my anonymity. It's important because if I should decide to go back to a life of drinking and drugging and then maybe commit a crime or something awful, that would bring down the local reputation of AA.
So, I might be the Chamber Director, and all this other stuff (that really isn't all THAT important even if my ego says it is...) outside of AA, I am just an alcoholic/addict. And to me, that's really where it begins and what's most important. I cannot EVER afford to forget what I am. If I do, I run the great risk of returning to an active participation in my disease. I don't EVER want to go back there.