Tradition Four – Ron K_Lifeline2016

Tradition Four

While answering the telephones at Central Office, on several occasions I received a call of this nature: “Group is doing it wrong.  Something has to be done. Call the AA Police.”

Sorry there is no AA Police.

In my home group, on the last meeting of the month, the current chair asks for a  volunteer to chair for the next month.  Several years ago, an individual with about 90 days of sobriety volunteered.  He had shared several times during the previous 3 months.  He always introduced himself as an addict.  He shared that he was a professional in the mental health area. He was intelligent and charismatic.

At his first meeting as chairperson, he rearranged the tables and chairs.  We had around a dozen visitors from a local college in attendance.  Our new chair chose a topic dealing with mental health and them shared with the group that he had never had a drink in his life.  I was appalled.  My group had become a group therapy session.  Something had to be done!

I talked to our group secretary and our GSR.  I called for a business meeting, during which I brought pamphlets like “An AA Group” “Information on AA” and books like “The AA Service Manual.” I had marked these with markers to underline the important points.

A debate occurred and no decision was made.  The group was divided.  Our chairperson continued to chair for 3 weeks; the debate continued.  At the end of the month, we were asked for a volunteer to chair the meeting for the next month.  An old timer raised his hand.  The following week she shared her experience, strength, and hope in dealing with her alcoholism.  We were an AA group again.

Tradition Four deals with a group’s right to be wrong.  Bill W. wrote about it in “The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions.” Tradition 4 contains AA’s only rule; Rule #62: “Don’t take yourself too damn seriously!”

For a good read, a dose of AA history, and the rest of the story behind Rule #62, check out Tradition Four from the 12×12.

-Ron K.


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