Tradition 1 & Checklist

The 12 Traditions of Alcoholics Anonymous, the principles that hold our groups and society together.

Tradition 1 & Checklist

Postby Tommy-S » Sun Sep 02, 2012 5:38 pm

Tradition One, Long Form: Each member of Alcoholics Anonymous is but a small part of a great whole. AA must continue to live or most of us will surely die. Hence our common welfare should come first. But individual welfare follows close afterwards.

The essay on Tradition One (12 x 12) considers
“the Unity of AA the most cherished quality our Society has. Our lives, and the lives of all to come, depend upon it. We stay whole, or AA dies”.(12 x 12, pg 129)


In studying Tradition 1 with a sponsor, I was tasked with learning the principle behind the tradition. As the individual needed to conform to spiritual principles else they would sicken and die, AA history bears out the fact that alcoholics had a better chance of recovery when they banded together. Hence it was clear the group needed to survive or the individual would not.

Placing my ego to one side, quieting my desires and personal ambitions for the good of the group, though painful at times, took priority as I knew I needed to stick with the winners. (Those who had Victory over Alcohol that day)

I had heard enough of what alcohol did to these alkies enough to know I ‘had it’, too. If they could find relief by working the AA program, then doing what they did was the only shot a drunk like me had.

That realization started a change in me in that I no longer felt compelled to change AA to fit me. Tommy’s Anonymous had never given me relief (no one else ever showed up for the meetings). Instead, I changed to fit Alcoholics Anonymous. I lost my terminal uniqueness, began to resign from having it MY way, decided to become a worker among workers, and commence to follow the path laid out long before I arrived.

Though I will never be mistaken for a “Yes” man, and while I sometimes bow grudgingly to the group’s wishes when the majority agrees on a course of action (and they can be wrong quite often, in my opinion ;)), I realize sobriety is a Team Sport.

And I, for one, need the team much more than it needs me.

Thanks

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Practice These Principles…**

Tradition One: Our common welfare should come first; personal recovery depends upon AA unity.

1. Am I in my group a healing, mending, integrating person, or am I divisive? What about gossip and taking other members’ inventories?

2. Am I a peacemaker? Or do I, with pious preludes such as “just for the sake of discussion,” plunge into argument?

3. Am I gentle with those who rub me the wrong way, or am I abrasive?

4. Do I make competitive AA remarks, such as comparing one group with another or contrasting AA in one place with AA in another?

5. Do I put down some AA activities as if I were superior for not participating in this or that aspect of AA?

6. Am I informed about AA as a whole? Do I support, in every way I can, AA as a whole, or just the parts I understand and approve of?

7. Am I as considerate of AA members as I want them to be of me?

8. Do I spout platitudes about love while indulging in and secretly justifying behavior that bristles with hostility?

9. Do I go to enough AA meetings or read enough AA literature to really keep in touch?

10. Do I share with AA all of me, the bad and the good, accepting as well as giving the help of fellowship?

** These questions were originally published in the AA Grapevine in conjunction with a series on the Twelve Traditions that began in November 1969 and ran through September 1971. While they were originally intended primarily for individual use, many AA groups have since used them as a basis for wider discussion.

++++++++++++++++

http://www.aa.org/1212/
http://www.aa.org/en_pdfs/smf-131_en.pdf

12 & 12 and Traditions Check List reprinted with Permission AAWS
Together, we don't have to cave in or wimp out to that Fatal First One, no matter what today!
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Re: Tradition 1 & Checklist

Postby PaigeB » Sun Sep 02, 2012 8:05 pm

2. Am I a peacemaker? Or do I, with pious preludes such as “just for the sake of discussion,” plunge into argument?
3. Am I gentle with those who rub me the wrong way, or am I abrasive?


Wow - I am totally a "just for the sake of discussion" especially in these Forums. I do try to be gentle, but I think that requires another look as well....

That's not all, but that is where I am leaving it for now.
If I'm not able to say how I'm working my program today, then I'm not working my program.
The e-AA Group's 7th Tradition link: www.e-aa.org/group_seventh.php
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Re: Tradition 1 & Checklist

Postby Duke » Sun Sep 02, 2012 11:03 pm

When I'm not sure what to say, or if I should say what I'm thinking, I shut up. I'm quiet a lot. :wink:
"If you are humble nothing will touch you, neither praise nor disgrace, because you know what you are.", Mother Teresa
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Re: Tradition 1 & Checklist

Postby PaigeB » Sun Sep 02, 2012 11:50 pm

:lol:

I know I say too much sometimes! Ssssshhh :wink:
If I'm not able to say how I'm working my program today, then I'm not working my program.
The e-AA Group's 7th Tradition link: www.e-aa.org/group_seventh.php
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Re: Tradition 1 & Checklist

Postby leejosepho » Mon Sep 03, 2012 4:43 am

PaigeB wrote:
2. Am I a peacemaker? Or do I, with pious preludes such as “just for the sake of discussion,” plunge into argument?
3. Am I gentle with those who rub me the wrong way, or am I abrasive?

Wow - I am totally a "just for the sake of discussion" especially in these Forums. I do try to be gentle, but I think that requires another look as well....

I think the deal there is that some folks will say "just for the sake of discussion" even though there is actually an agenda.

In Key West many years ago, many of us said "just for the sake of discussion" in the kind of way I believe you would do that, Paige. We had questions and we were looking for answers, but we were all doing that together while seeking and while realizing we might not get any "final answer" immediately.
=======================
"We A.A.s do not *stay* away from drinking [one day at a
time] -- we *grow* away from drinking [one day at a time]."
("Lois Remembers", page 168, quoting Bill, emphasis added)
=======================
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Re: Tradition 1 & Checklist

Postby Tommy-S » Mon Sep 03, 2012 10:28 am

Thanks folks.

The inclusion of the Checklist questions were not intended as a public test, but rather as some practical ways in which we apply the Tradition. (I can't answer a bunch of them to MY satisfaction, let alone anyone else's. It all gives me something to think about, which, I hope can generate some discussion here.)

My Service Sponsor used to run incidents & examples by me (which was invariably something she had dealt with or was dealing with), and we would figure out which Traditions were affected. The conflicts always seemed to involve more than one Tradition.

Recently, I have been hearing an announcement at my F2F meeting for support at a new meetings, with an odd time. The meeting starts @ 7 PM, when most in this area are 8 PM.

After several weeks of 'please support', I spoke with one of the attendees (who is a 'Grand'-sponsee of mine). Turns out, he's the fellow who started it :)

My initial concern was the 4th Tradition, with the 7 PM meeting's affect on the surrounding 8 PM group as the area has a decent sized AA population. I suspected the start time for what he admitted it to be, an attempt to undercut and entice 8PM members away.

So we discussed the Unity of Tradition 1. Competition can create growth in AA, and it can also destroy Unity.

If the existing group has too many members, then a new meeting would expand AA, giving more people more opportunity to share & participate, increasing Unity. However, if the membership numbers are such the one group is barely existing, then the competition creates two struggling groups, endangering both.

We also discussed 7th Tradition Self-Supporting implications. If the existing group had no problem meeting, say a $100/month rent, AND was banking more than it's prudent reserve, no problem. But if that existing group was barely making ends meet, then drawing members from it could put it under, or create two financially floundering groups, both which may fail.

But, as with all of AA, we can not & do not 'drive by mandate'. The 7PM meeting is still going, though my Grandsponsee has a little more knowledge. (I don't control them, I just suggest a direction to steer).

Groups have been torn apart before, only to find a very expensive lesson that they were better off together. Some have left carnage of those who drank in the wake of those lessons. (And I know of one incident, when the whole group got drunk, ending that group forever).

Fortunately, AA as a whole is resilient, having survived much worse... And those 'much worse' experiences are the backbone of the Traditions, as well as a means to avoid expensive & maybe unnecessary lessons.

Thanks... Tommy
Together, we don't have to cave in or wimp out to that Fatal First One, no matter what today!
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Re: Tradition 1 & Checklist

Postby Squawking Hawk » Tue Sep 04, 2012 5:26 am

A quick note to thank Tommy for posting this discussion on the first tradition and checklist as well as the other posts on traditions 2 and 3. I expect that I'll be back to share on the discussions about the traditions later.

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Re: Tradition 1 & Checklist

Postby PaigeB » Fri Jan 01, 2016 11:54 am

Seems like a great time to re-up this thread!

Without the AA Group, the individual has no Hope.
If I'm not able to say how I'm working my program today, then I'm not working my program.
The e-AA Group's 7th Tradition link: www.e-aa.org/group_seventh.php
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Re: Tradition 1 & Checklist

Postby ann2 » Fri Jan 01, 2016 12:02 pm

Ooops!
"If I don't take twenty walks, Billy Beane send me to Mexico" -- Miguel Tejada
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Re: Tradition 1 & Checklist

Postby meko » Tue Jan 03, 2017 12:07 pm

I like the idea of reopening this thread.
Each month, I review the step, tradition, & concept of the month! I'm always looking for new ideas and ways to grow.
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