Tradition 2 & Checklist

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

Tradition 2 & Checklist

Postby Tommy-S » Sun Sep 02, 2012 5:44 pm

Tradition Two, Long Form: For our group purpose there is but one ultimate authority—a loving God as He may express Himself in our group conscience. Our leaders are but trusted servants; they do not govern.

It took some time without drinking (or chewing my booze) before my head cleared enough to realize AA was having an effect. I remember looking back in wonder at the realization that I had started to accumulate a string of 24 hours at a time, not caving in or wimping out to the first one. This has been something I felt myself utterly incapable of accomplishing given the fact I did not remember ordering, paying for, or drinking my last drink…I was as hopeless and as powerless over Alcohol as the AA’s on the ship prophesized I would be, IF I was alcoholic as they were.

As the fog lifted and I realized AA was working, I began to wonder who ran AA.

At first, I assumed it was the person chairing the meeting, but as that changed (more or less) with every meeting (& they even started to let me do it a couple times), the chairperson was ruled out.

Then I began to suspect it was the longest sober member, or possibly the fellow with the most time on the ship.

Though they had the most experience and longest time sober, I was to find out that service positions were rotating, and our group was ran by majority vote. Further, there we no rules, no mandates, no requirements…one either did the deal, or suffered in that Mad Realm behind the First Drink.

In considering the way the group ran, I thought it rather half-measures, and wondered if these old timers weren’t a little on the lazy side. You see, my new-found sobriety generated a love for the program, spawning aspirations of one day being one of the AA presidents. I couldn’t wait to be top dog (I’m not kidding, either…fortunately, I’m better now :))

“Our society has no president who can govern, no treasurer who can compel the payment of any dues, no board of directors who can cast out an erring member into outer darkness …no AA can give another a directive and enforce obedience…” (12 x 12, pg 132).


I couldn’t grasp the motivation of being a group officer, yet having no authority, or even rules and regulations in which to show the members of the group how well I could run things ;). Patiently, those older members showed me the emphasis in AA was on ‘trust’. The trust that I would do the best I could in regards to the group responsibilities assigned. My welfare, as well as everyone involved, depended on the group continuing to do well.

(I would later come to understand much more as to the ‘why’ we do our best for our group in Concepts III, IV & V, and strive to lead as defined in Concept IX).

The true leader of the group was the voice of the group as expressed by votes…with each and every member, no matter how long sober or how often involved, carrying the same authority as anyone else…one vote. We had no second class citizenship in AA...every one was equal.

It was then, and is still today (when my ‘wisdom’ is not as appreciated as I think it ought to be ;)), that I know that WE are smarter together than any us one of is separately, no matter how much time they have.

Thanks

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Practice These Principles...**

Tradition Two: For our group purpose there is but one ultimate authority—a loving God as He may express Himself in our group conscience. Our leaders are but trusted servants; they do not govern.

1. Do I criticize or do I trust and support my group officers, AA committees, and office workers? Newcomers? Old-timers?

2. Am I absolutely trustworthy, even in secret, with AA Twelfth Step jobs or other AA responsibility?

3. Do I look for credit in my AA jobs? Praise for my AA ideas?

4. Do I have to save face in group discussion, or can I yield in good spirit to the group conscience and work cheerfully along with it?

5. Although I have been sober a few years, am I still willing to serve my turn at AA chores?

6. In group discussions, do I sound off about matters on which I have no experience and little knowledge?

** 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
Reprinted with Permission AAWS
Last edited by Tommy-S on Fri Sep 07, 2012 6:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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 2 & Checklist

Postby PaigeB » Sun Sep 02, 2012 8:12 pm

1. Do I criticize or do I trust and support my group officers, AA committees, and office workers? Newcomers? Old-timers?


I support and trust my group officers and newcomers and old timers. We are all here for the same purpose and there are no 2nd class citizens in AA. I truly believe that I alone, or any person who makes a mistake, cannot hurt the whole of AA. We can survive a few hits and recover with dignity. Even if someone breaks my anonymity, that person will not be shut out of the group by me or anyone else. I would encourage them to serve again - like riding a bike, ya gotta get back up.
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 2 & Checklist

Postby leejosepho » Mon Sep 03, 2012 4:33 am

Tommy_S wrote:2. Am I absolutely trustworthy, even in secret, with AA Twelfth Step jobs or other AA responsibility?

That is how I first saw "a loving God as He may express Himself in our group conscience" at work around me. My first sponsor and his wife were the "leaders" or "trusted servants" of our small group of newcomers, and they never did anything without also helping us see they had learned from the "combined experience and knowledge" (or "knowlege and experience") first-shared and often-mentioned in our book and 12&12.

Bill W. used to say anonymity amounts to "the renunciation of personal prestige as an instrument of general policy", and those folks truly lived that out.
=======================
"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 2 & Checklist

Postby Tommy-S » Mon Sep 03, 2012 11:42 am

Thanks folks.

That together WE 'may' have a better idea was absolutely foreign to in spite a of stellar track record of screwing up everything I held near and dear behind the drink... so it was a process, and part of the process was 'Trust' (One of my alcoholic twists early on was "If you could get close to me, you could hurt me, so no one was getting close"... frosted with a generous "A man stands on his own two feet")

Learning to "Trust" AA, the group, the old-timers, and eventually a sponsor took time.

But there was no doubting the men in the rooms of AA, those 'living examples' ... I could see in their eyes they spoke the truth, and could see AA worked... so I gave myself to the care & direction of those crusty old drunk's.

They showed me the Group Conscience when they included me in their decisions, (which, at times, seemed like a herd of head-butting rams). Even I, the new guy, had a vote. I was just that important to the group.

My tendency to take the quick,fast solution in business matters was/is often tempered by Group Conscience.

There was a mountain to move & I know just how to lay a suitable application of high explosives to do so quick, fast & in a hurry...but the majority of the group preferred to let the faucet trickle, and the trickle to wear away the mountain over time.

Bound to them by Unity as I knew my life depended upon having a group, I sucked up my personal desires, and found the wisdom in the group's decision... their way kept us from replacing all the windows in a 1/4 mile radius :)

The inherent wisdom of "more than Me" moves at times with all the speed one would get herding cats... It takes considerable time & effort to get them gathered, pointed in one direction, and heading out... and bites and scratches. But rarely have I seen a collective decision which either worked out better than what I would have come up with on my own... Or, was able to change it's 'collective conscience' without much damage, if the group decided the direction it headed was NOT in it's best interests.

I 'trusted' because I had to in the beginning, but now do so because being part of the Team works.

Take part in your group... Exercise your privilege of being a full member, because you ARE important. It's a wonderful and fascinating part of the AA journey.

Thanks... Tommy
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Re: Tradition 2 & Checklist

Postby Karl R » Mon Sep 03, 2012 2:05 pm

Take part in your group... Exercise your privilege of being a full member, because you ARE important


Yes!!! One's personal survival depends on it. It's not enough to be seated in an occasional recovery meeting. Or wander from meeting to meeting avoiding becoming a "part of" a home Group. We survive if our home Group survives as a fellowship in A.A.

And that takes participation at all levels.

There was a mountain to move & I know just how to lay a suitable application of high explosives to do so quick, fast & in a hurry...but the majority of the group preferred to let the faucet trickle, and the trickle to wear away the mountain over time.


Again Yes! Oftentimes speed is our enemy. The glacial slowness of the spiritual entity is our friend.

thank you so much Tommy.

regards,
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Re: Tradition 2 & Checklist

Postby Sally Sue » Mon Feb 02, 2015 9:35 am

I'm studying for the first time the traditions and what they mean to AA and I am going to do a tradition on each month.... this is very interesting to me today!
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