Tradition 9 & Checklist

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

Tradition 9 & Checklist

Postby Tommy-S » Sun Sep 09, 2012 1:04 pm

Tradition Nine, Long Form: Each A.A. group needs the least possible organization. Rotating leadership is the best. The small group may elect its secretary, the large group its rotating committee, and the groups of a large metropolitan area their central or intergroup committee, which often employs a full-time secretary. The trustees of the General Service Board are, in effect, our A.A. General Service Committee. They are the custodians of our A.A. Tradition and the receivers of voluntary A.A. contributions by which we maintain our A.A. General Service Office at New York. They are authorized by the groups to handle our over-all public relations and they guarantee the integrity of our principle newspaper, the A.A. Grapevine. All such representatives are to be guided in the spirit of service, for true leaders in A.A. are but trusted and experienced servants of the whole. They derive no real authority from their titles; they do not govern. Universal respect is the key to their usefulness.

AA is unique in its principle of non-government, having no means
“to issue a single directive, let alone mete our any punishment... no membership rules... No authority to impose obedience... punish or expel offenders.” (12 x 12, pg 172-173)


Those elected to service positions or to places within service committees and boards always remain ‘Designated Authority’, rather then AA’s ‘Ultimate Authority’, which firmly rests in the hands of the groups & members via wallets and pocketbooks, and feet. (per Concept VII) http://www.aa.org/lang/en/catalog.cfm?c ... roduct=100

Though ‘unorganized’, a great deal of organization exists throughout AA to meet the needs of AA world wide, such as publishing our literature and grapevines, answering calls and letters from AA overseas, on ships, those alone, and those bed-ridden or incarcerated, hence our ‘upside down’ service triangle, with “AA Group” at it’s top. (Service Manual, pg S16)

The principle of Rotating Leadership is a Humility in Action, encouraging us to do the best we can for our group, district, area in hopes those replacing us will be able to build on what we have contributed, yet at the same time allowing for something new IF the growth of the Fellowship so directs. (Checklist Questions below)

“We need to ensure that changes within AA come only as a response to the needs and wants of all AA, and not of any few... that the doors of the halls of AA will never have locks on them, so that all people for all time who have an alcoholic problem may enter the halls unasked and feel welcomed.” Bernard Smith, non-alcoholic Trustee, 1954, (AA Service Manual, pg S20)
http://www.aa.org/lang/en/catalog.cfm?category=8&product=100

It’s in the Spirit of Service, and not government, no ‘driving by mandate’ but by setting examples’, we serve our fellow Alcoholics and AA members, as
“Great love and great suffering are AA disciplinarians. We need no others.” (12 x 12, pg 174)


Thanks

PS: Please see "Leadership in AA: Ever a Vital Need", Concept IX, pg 38, AA Service Manual (also @ http://www.aa.org/lang/en/catalog.cfm?c ... roduct=100)
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Practice These Principles…**

Tradition Nine: AA, as such, ought never be organized; but we may create service boards or committees directly responsible to those they serve.

1. Do I still try to boss things in AA?

2. Do I resist formal aspects of AA because I fear them as authoritative?

3. Am I mature enough to understand and use all elements of the AA program—even if no one makes me do so—with a sense of personal responsibility?

4. Do I exercise patience and humility in any AA job I take?

5. Am I aware of all those to whom I am responsible in any AA job?

6. Why doesn’t every AA group need a constitution and bylaws?

7. Have I learned to step out of an AA job gracefully—and profit thereby—when the time comes?

8. What has rotation to do with anonymity? With humility?

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** 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.

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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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Tommy-S
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Re: Tradition 9 & Checklist

Postby PaigeB » Wed Sep 12, 2012 10:52 am

Bumping this thread toward the top as I hope to reply later today! It is great how these traditions REALLY work in our lives!
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 9 & Checklist

Postby PaigeB » Mon Sep 17, 2012 9:00 am

6. Why doesn’t every AA group need a constitution and bylaws?


Answer: “Great love and great suffering are AA disciplinarians. We need no others.” (12 x 12, pg 174). Great suffering drives a lot of AA - it drove me. In the beginning service to others made sure I got to meetings and worked with newcomers simply because I was lucky enough to still have my car. But it is great love of this program and it's people and the still suffering that has kept me in service to AA. Great suffering and great love offer humility and gratitude, and a desire to do what ever tiny thing I can do to assure that no alcoholic be turned away at the door and that a warm hand and a warm cup of coffee introduce them the the largest organization no one ever wanted to be a part of.

2. Do I resist formal aspects of AA because I fear them as authoritative?


I feared commitment.

7. Have I learned to step out of an AA job gracefully—and profit thereby—when the time comes?


It has been a challenge to step IN TO a service position with humility and grace... it sort of goes along with: 4. Do I exercise patience and humility in any AA job I take? I have been asked to serve again as my homegroup's GSR as no one else will stand (and I love it!) When I came in my group was very patient with me changes I wanted to make. I tried not to go in like a bull in a China Shop and I have mellowed with time. I do not want to go out like a big baby - in fact, service helped me so much that I hope to be joyful when another woman wishes to take over. Again - great love drives my service today.
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 9 & Checklist

Postby Tommy-S » Mon Sep 17, 2012 12:51 pm

Thanks, Paige

It was in the Concept 3 that I began to understand 'why' we need no rules.

Concept III gave 'The Right of Decision' in that my service position was a Designated Authority 'trusted' by the Ultimate Authority' of my Group. (Service Manual, pg 15)

The Group gave me responsibility to act on their behalf, instead of simply being an 'informed messenger' carrying whatever they decided before hand to the District Meeting or Area Assembly (or Intergroup Meeting). If I heard something during a discussion the Group Conscience had not considered, I was 'free' to vote for the Group's best interest... Providing I returned to face them with a 5th Step of what I voted and the why.

It was the love of my group that allowed me to be an effective servant. I want to do my best for the 'team'. No other disciple is necessary.

It is also one of the many Leadership traits Bill W wrote of in Concept 9...
"Good leadership will often discard its own cherished plans for others that are better, and it will give credit to the source."("Leadership in AA: Ever a Vital Need", Service Manual, pg 39)
Link in top post

Thanks :)
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