March 27, How Tradition Four Keeps the Group Responsible to the Fellowship of DA

Thought for today:

Some DA groups have a monthly Vision’s meeting.  Some groups emphasize regular PRGs, still others the steps or service.  Through trial and error, groups come up with what works for their members.

The Traditions exist because groups need guidelines in order to avoid selfishness.  Just as individuals need to guard against character defects, so does the group need to avoid Pride, Anger, Lust, Envy, Sloth, Greed, Gluttony.

In the early days of AA, they polled all the groups at that time to compile all the membership regulations.  The survey results, showed that there were so many rules, no one could have been able to be a member!  Clearly, the rules needed to be reduced to a manageable number.

It was agreed that groups should be autonomous except in areas where it hurt the welfare of the fellowship itself.  A practical example would be a policy that groups would be able to sell “non DA approved” literature as long as it was placed on a different table than the one that held literature that was DA conference approved.

Tradition Four: “Each group should be autonomous except in matters affecting other groups or D.A. as a whole.”

Groups can affect each other, just like people.  We should put the needs of the fellowship at large above our own personal wishes or competitiveness.

We need DA to be there in the future, and the Traditions are the best guarantee of that.

Am I willing to put the needs of DA above my own?

Meditation for today:

True friendship begins with tolerance. A friend will accept that you may have a difference of opinion on a particular topic. They will appreciate you anyway.

Through diversity of opinion comes understanding. Each of us has a need to participate in the collective good. The spirit of healing begins with this reasoned participation.

Affirmation for today:

I will seek out my friend and celebrate them and their unique perspective.

Prayer for today:

I pray that I can see how the greater good comes to pass when I turn the results over to God. When I don’t see results, I pray for wisdom to know that God is working out the greater good.

“Extra Credit” Reading:

Originally published in 1952, Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions is the classic book used by AA members and groups around the world. It lays out the principles by which AA members recover and by which the fellowship functions. The basic text clarifies the Steps which constitute the AA way of life and the Traditions, by which AA maintains its unity.

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