Tradition 4 & Checklist

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

Tradition 4 & Checklist

Postby Tommy-S » Tue Sep 04, 2012 7:47 am

Tradition Four, Long Form: With respect to its own affairs, each AA group should be responsible to no other authority than its own group conscience. But when its plans concern the welfare of neighboring groups also, those groups ought to be consulted. And no group, regional committee, or individual should ever take any action that might greatly affect AA as a whole without conferring with the trustees of the General Service Board. On such issues our common welfare is paramount.

Autonomy means
“very simply that every AA group can manage its affairs exactly as it pleases...” (12 x 12, pg 146)
with a couple exceptions.
“Any two or three alcoholics gathered together for sobriety may call themselves an AA group provided that as a group they have no other affiliation”... “Sobriety has to be its sole objective” (12 x 12, pg 146-147)

“This means that these two or three alcoholics could try for sobriety in any way they liked. They could disagree with any or all of AA principles & still call themselves an AA group. But this ultra-liberty is not so risky as it looks... also prevents AA from becoming a frozen set of dogmatic principles that could not be change even when wrong” (AA Comes of Age, pg 105)


It was explained to me there is No dictates from HQ (GSO) as to how to conduct its affairs, when to do so, where to meet or not to, how to run the meeting, what to use or not use, etc.
“The group, exactly like the individual, MUST eventually conform to whatever tested principles would guarantee survival.” (12 x 12, pg 146)


“We are people that normally would not mix...” And members if we say so... Providing we share our common desire NOT to drink, sobriety, and helping others achieve sobriety, (Unity, AA’s Primary & Singleness of Purpose)

An AA group is free to govern themselves as they see fit without interference, “strictly reliant on its own conscience as a guide to action” (12 x 12, pg 147). Keeping in mind the effects on other groups and AA as a whole when taking Group Actions is the consideration asked.

Thanks

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

Practice These Principles….

Tradition Four: Each group should be autonomous except in matters affecting other groups or AA as a whole.

1. Do I insist that there are only a few right ways of doing things in AA?

2. Does my group always consider the welfare of the rest of AA? Of nearby groups? Of Loners in Alaska? Of Internationalists miles from port? Of a group in Rome or El Salvador?

3. Do I put down other members’ behavior when it is different from mine, or do I learn from it?

4. Do I always bear in mind that, to those outsiders who know I am in AA, I may to some extent represent our entire beloved Fellowship?

5. Am I willing to help a newcomer go to any lengths—his lengths, not mine—to stay sober?

6. Do I share my knowledge of AA tools with other members who may not have heard of them?

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

** 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
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Re: Tradition 4 & Checklist

Postby Todd M » Wed Sep 05, 2012 10:18 am

Tradition Four: Each group should be autonomous except in matters affecting other groups or AA as a whole.

4. Do I always bear in mind that, to those outsiders who know I am in AA, I may to some extent represent our entire beloved Fellowship?


This question I feel is the greatest challenges for Cyber-AA groups, we are very public, reaching around the globe
When Group Conscience is active, moving slowly, I try to always consider how this e-AA group affects other groups
May it be F2F or Cyber or Loners or AA as a whole
There is Hope, Todd M
Keep it Simple

The e-AA Group's 7th Tradition link:
http://www.e-aa.org/group_seventh.php
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Re: Tradition 4 & Checklist

Postby Tommy-S » Wed Sep 05, 2012 1:05 pm

Excellent point, Todd.

Cyber AA is a lot like holding a Face to Face meeting in a glass house, in the middle of a football stadium... Could you imagine what we could convey to the masses IF they witnessed half of what I have seen in AA Business Meetings. OMG! They would probably seal us in the Stadium, and charge admission to watch :)

But only because they would not share or understand the passion with which we disagree and argue at times "How best to help the suffering alcoholic".

Not that we shouldn't be on our best behavior, but sometimes my best is often not very good, kind, or civil.

I only hope those who look critically upon us at our worst will stay long enough to see how we amend and make up, and the love we show the new guy or gal when they reach out for our help.

And for those who only look for our faults... Maybe they are the ones referred to in 'Those who matter won't care, and those who care, probably don't matter much anyway'.

Thanks

ALSO.... Jakpar has reposted Bill W's 1948 Grapevine article on Tradition 4, on this post... Thanks:
viewtopic.php?f=24&t=9734
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Re: Tradition 4 & Checklist

Postby Peter.H. » Wed Dec 30, 2015 6:39 pm

I am currently starting a new AA group in my local area. In our town, we do not have a Friday meeting. So a Friday night meeting might help newcomers to avoid relapsing after a week's work.
So I wrote a letter of proposal outlining the new meeting time, type, and location. The letter also include Tradition Four as my purpose for the letter.
All other groups told me that they have never heard of a new group checking to see what other groups thought. I told them I was simply following Tradition Four suggestion.
As a result, a nearby group, though not in our district, also had a Friday night meeting. They were concerned that they will lose attendees if members had to decide which meeting to attend.
We came to a compromise. Since their group was between 6.30-7.30pm. We settle with a time of 8.00-9.00pm. In that way members could attend both if they wanted to.
"...unless this person can experience an entire psyche change there is very little hope of his recovery" - Dr. Silkworth. [Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Ed, p xxix.]
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Re: Tradition 4 & Checklist

Postby ann2 » Thu Dec 31, 2015 3:28 am

That is awesome, Peter. So glad you made the effort and avoided a potential conflict.

In my experience, very few A.A. members have heard of how to apply the traditions in service. Members, even trusted servants, just bumble along using their own background and only check the traditions and guidelines if really stumped by something, as if it were a totally unrelated idea but who knows, it might help :wink:

Seriously, actually reading the diretions first and then using energy to follow directions is genius, and quite rewarding, both for the group and for personal growth.

Ann
one of the people who wishes she'd follow her own advice . . .
"If I don't take twenty walks, Billy Beane send me to Mexico" -- Miguel Tejada
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Re: Tradition 4 & Checklist

Postby PaigeB » Thu Dec 31, 2015 11:21 am

Here's a pamphlet called The A Group: Where it all Begins
http://www.aa.org/assets/en_US/aa-liter ... e-aa-group
Though you have probably seen it, it might be helpful to anyone starting a group to have it at the ready!
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 4 & Checklist

Postby Robert R » Thu Dec 31, 2015 11:52 am

ann2 wrote:one of the people who wishes she'd follow her own advice . . .


:lol: O yeah, me too :lol:
Don't know exactly where I am going but I'm on my way and it's already much better than where I've been.
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