We speak, as best we can, in support of respecting the AA traditions within our group, leaving the results up to our Higher Power. ~ Anon
We are winding down on another month. I am always amazed at how fast time flies by, especially when I am involved in something meaningful to me; like this blog. It seems to me that there is so little time and so much to say/share. That is one thing I have never run out of = things to say! haha.
The final questions in tradition # 9 are as follows:
- Are we afraid to speak up when we see the traditions being ignored in our group?
- Can we do the footwork in our AA service and trust the results to our HP, even when things don’t go the way we think they should?
- Do we practice rotation of leadership in our group?
- Do we discuss how rotation of leadership relates to personal humility and the foundation of our group’s anonymity? When we follow the traditions, we find that there is very little need for rules and regulations. We do not have to police each other, as even new people recognize that they have an equal say in all matters pertaining to the group. We can all relax and recover.
In AA, we have experienced how things work out for the best when organization is kept at a minimum. ~ AA Traditions
Here are some more tradition #9 questions that a group could use to determine if they could be stronger once traditions are better adhered to. Traditions are homicide prevention. They keep us from killing each other. They are the glue that keeps us together, keeps us coming back, and gives us clear directions on a true democratic process that most organizations can only dream of.
- Do we try to understand and support the service structure?
- Do we do our part in helping AA’s different service bodies carry the message?
- Do we use patience and humility in performing each AA job we take on?
- Are we aware of all those to whom we are responsible in any AA job?
- Has our group made a point of to discuss the 12 traditions and how they apply to us? The strongest meetings stick to the AA traditions and teach(through workshop, study, and sponsorship) its members how to apply the traditions in all of our affairs. Stick with the winners.
Once we have spoken our minds, however, the 9th tradition tells us to relax and let our Higher Power take charge of the meeting. We find that we cannot force our will on the AA group, no matter how right it may seem to us. ~ AA wisdom
Some person wiser than me once counseled me to let go of my expectations of the program as a whole, meetings, and the AA structure as a whole. She told me that it is not responsibility to make AA last or survive the many changes and people that come through those doors. Bend with the breeze, or be broken by it. From time to time, I have to be reminded of this. If you have been around as long or longer than me, you will have noticed that new people bring in new ideas. Not all ideas are right.
I remember one gal came in and immediately campaigned and won her right to change the wording of the How It Works! Guess what: she went back to drinking and the group recovered and prospered via the experience. Over the next few days, I will submit some tradition #9 questions for consideration that you may want to use in your meetings:
- Does our meeting support our leaders and service providers?
- Are we critical of those who are giving service and suspicious of their motives?
- Are we mature enough to take responsibility for the well-being of AA and our own recovery programs. Take some time to survey your groups and help others embrace the traditions as that glue that binds us to each other and to AA.
Service is the key to getting to the heart of AA. It is what keeps us coming back. ~ Anon
Ooops, I over booked; then my computer mouse died. I am up and running again. I spent the weekend at a 12 step convention. There were some powerful messages of recovery. The most meaningful was that one must be completely sober in order to work the steps. I am so glad that such events exist locally and at a very reasonable cost. There is a great deal of work to be done to achieve such an event. There are boards positions such as chair, vice chair, etc. And, there are committee jobs such as registration, decorations, fund raising, etc. This year, I put the flyer together. I am not all that good at key boarding, but I got through it and it looked presentable.
I had the opportunity to speak as well. That was an honor. I spoke on the topic of acceptance as needed to work the 12 steps and how they apply to my life. Then, I gave them some questions on how these acceptance issues would apply in their lives. They seemed to appreciate that. Most importantly, was that we got to know each other a little bit more. Sometimes, just sitting and listening instead of applying the learning can get tiresome. I am one of those who is easily distracted and bored when required to sit and listen. It is probably the ADD in me. Ha ha. At any rate, we applied tradition #9 well, and it paid off. Be a part of, not apart from.
AA, as such, ought never be organized, but we may created service boards and committees directly responsible to those they serve. ~ AA 12 X 12
Gees, it is nearly mid month, I have not even mentioned the tradition of the month, and that is #9. The key word for this tradition is structure. What most of us have learned about AA and most 12 step programs, is that there are no bosses, no one is in control, and we are an unorganized organization! At the top of most nonprofits is a service board that will have at least one member on it. The rest is made up of professional and community members. These boards act as arbiters of the organization’s business. In most situations, they oversee the decisions about legal and financial matters, to ensure the nonprofit is run correctly according to the laws of the land.
AA is an upside down pyramid. The members and groups have more say so than does any entity over it. Each group is autonomous, unless it effects AA as a whole. I have had the wonderful but challenging opportunity to serve on many committees and even on some regional and intergroup boards. Committees might take care of public information, outreach, 12 step work, elections, events, banquets, etc. Service boards are usually involved in how to handle the money, setting up and maintaining an office, phone lines, publishing meeting lists, hotlines, information, literature sales, etc. There is a great deal of work to do. It takes a group effort and cooperation to keep our doors opened and to have help available for the still suffering alcoholic. Be part of the solution, and be of service.