Tradition Four

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

Because of Tradition Four, each group can be autonomous. This means that each group has the right to run a meeting in any format that they wish and because of this if you explore enough meetings I believe you can find one that is right for you. Salt Lake has about 55 meeting a day of Alcoholics Anonymous. Most meetings I have attended are similar in format. Some meetings start off the meeting by having someone read from the big book, most meeting’s last an hour and then usually end by the group circling up and saying the serenity prayer. Although this is the majority basic format for most meetings I have attended, it hasn’t been for all.  I found comfort in a young peoples meeting. It was a meeting that majority of my friends did not like, but it was a meeting that I appreciated and attended regularly. The format was structured different than that of my home group, it was more rambunctious and I loved the free spirit of the young alcoholic. Just because a large portion of people I knew did not like this meeting did not mean it was harmful to AA as a whole.

My home group is a Twelve and Twelve step study meeting. The group reads through the Twelve and Twelve and then discusses the step that was just read. The second Friday of the month the group reads then discusses the tradition that corresponds with whatever month it is.

If you’re new to Alcoholics Anonymous and haven’t found a meeting that’s right for you, I encourage you to seek out other meetings. We have beginner meetings, traditions meetings, meditation meetings, young people meetings, discussion meetings, open meetings, speaker meetings etc. And if you still haven’t found a meeting that is right for you, I encourage you to take advantage of this tradition and start your own meeting, format it any way you’d like. But please keep in mind the rest of the traditions.

Damian T.



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