I have discovered that our literature is the best resource for describing aspects of our program and so I have quoted from one of our pamphlets – The Twelve Concepts for World Service Concept III states: “As a traditional means of creating and maintaining a clearly defined working relation between the groups, the Conference, the A.A. General Service Board and its several service corporations, staffs, committees, and executives, and of thus ensuring their effective leadership, it is here suggested that we endow each of these elements of world service with a traditional “Right of Decision.”
“Every trusted servant and every A.A. entity – at all levels of service – has the right “to decide how they will interpret and apply their own authority and responsibility to each particular problem or situation as it arises.” That is, they can “decide which problems they will dispose of themselves and upon which matters they will report, consult, or ask specific directions.” This is “the essence of ‘The right of Decision.’” The above taken from the Pamphlet ‘The Twelve Concepts for World Service.’
If you are wondering how Concept III applies, I will share some personal experience. Last year our delegate, Keith M., invited a group of trusted servants to a committee meeting to help him decide which of the 90 plus General Service Conference agenda items might be the best for our area to discuss and report back to him about. Keith used his “Right of Decision” to form and consult with this committee and to ask for specific directions from this committee on the Conference agenda items. The results were shared with the area during reports at the Pre-conference Assembly last year and subsequently with the General Service Conference through our delegate. Keith is doing the same this year.
Another example of the Concept III in action is through your Home Group. Your group, through its member’s, exercises it “Right of Decision” is dozens of ways. From deciding the format of your meeting, including what literature or preambles you might read to the distribution of your groups 7th Tradition funds. Both of these example demonstrate the spiritual principle of Concept III, that of Mutual Trust.” The freedom to decide and to act relies on the concept and practice of Trust.
“Bill warns against using “The Right of Decision” as an excuse for failure to make the proper reports for actions taken; or for exceeding clearly defined authority; or for failing to consult the proper people before making an important decision. But he concluded: “Our entire A.A. program rests squarely upon the principle of mutual trust. We trust God, we trust A.A., and we trust each other.”
If you would like to witness more of Concept III in action, attend your Home Group business meeting, District meeting or Area 69 Assemblies. If you would like to learn more about the Concepts themselves, get a copy of The A.A. Service Manual combined with The Twelve Concepts for World Service. “It is one of the best kept secrets in A.A.” Quote from Robert B., District 2.
~ Monte S.