Tradition 7: Responsibility

There are so many benefits to this tradition for the alcoholic and for the group and for all AA as a whole. When we first come into AA we were at a bottom — nothing was working for us. Many did not have a job or a place to stay, but most could still find the money for the next drink. We surrendered to the fact that we could no longer drink, because of the price it required of us, and that wasn’t money.

So slowly we put in a basket what little we had and began to acquire a life worth living. It made us responsible for the first time (for many of us) to become a part of taking care of ourselves. The first part of Tradition 7 makes it clear that responsibility extends to the members of each local group as it passes the basket for contributions to pay the rent and maintain its literature library.

The second part of this tradition addresses the issue of the fellowship not becoming involved with outside issues or conflicts that could arise by accepting “outside contributions.” If such contributions were accepted the group and its members might feel obligated to make some kind of concessions to the individual or organization making the donation. Declining these contributions keeps the fellowship independent from outside influences.

Tradition 7 (Long Form)

The A.A. groups themselves ought to be fully supported by the voluntary contributions of their own members. We think that each group should soon achieve this ideal; that any public solicitation of funds using the name of Alcoholics Anonymous is highly dangerous, whether by groups, clubs, hospitals, or other outside agencies; that acceptance of large gifts from any source, or of contributions carrying any obligation whatever, is unwise. Then too, we view with much concern those A.A. treasuries which continue, beyond prudent reserves, to accumulate funds for no stated A.A. purpose. Experience has often warned us that nothing can so surely destroy our spiritual heritage as futile disputes over property, money, and authority.

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