How To Think About The Traditions, 9

Read This First: How To Think… it’s important to understand that we as a greater society have lost the ability to think critically…

9. A.A., as such, ought never be organized; but we may create service boards or committees directly responsible to those they serve.
Each A.A. group needs the least possible organization. Rotating leadership is the best. The small group may elect its secretary, the large group its rotating committee, and the groups of a large metropolitan area their central or inter-group committee, which often employs a full-time secretary. The trustees of the General Service Board are, in effect, our A.A. General Service Committee. They are the custodians of our A.A. Tradition and the receivers of voluntary A.A. contributions by which we maintain our A.A. General Service Office at New York. They are authorized by the groups to handle our overall public relations and they guarantee the integrity of our principal newspaper, the A.A. Grapevine. All such representatives are to be guided in the spirit of service, for true leaders in A.A. are but trusted and experienced servants of the whole. They derive no real authority from their titles; they do not govern. Universal respect is the key to their usefulness.

I have italicized certain phrases in this Tradition because this is a lofty ideal, which as of 12/4/2019 our General Service Board is actually in opposition to and I refer you to this post I made regarding it here.

How to think about Tradition 9: Let’s say I am crossing the street and there is a little old lady standing in the median with cars rushing passed. Am I being directly responsible TO her if I attempt to drag her across the street against her will? Just because I think she would be better off on the sidewalk? Or is that being directly responsible for her?

Would I be directly responsible TO her by hanging out with her in the median, talking to her and making sure she is safe, whether I think it’s best or not?

That’s what makes Tradition 9 a spiritual principle. It is about being responsible to someone rather than for them. It is the difference between honoring their free will choice vs. governing them.

In this case, I can use Tradition 9 with my boyfriend – I can offer him solutions, ideas, even advice if he brings up a problem he’s having – and then I let it go- to prayer – because he has his own relationship with God and I am not it.

Tradition 9 also is about rotating leadership. Principles before personalities. Just because someone is good at an AA job, they only have 2 years and then they surrender it to the next person. This keeps God flowing through our services – not codifying anything that we do into a routine.

AA is an organism – not an organization.
Organism : a complex structure of interdependent and subordinate elements whose relations and properties are largely determined by their function in the whole. An organism grows by cellular reproduction. An organism grows from within.

Organize; : to form into a coherent unity or functioning whole, from without.

Using the Traditions, we maintain the organic structure of our organism.

If we use codified opinions – we organize and don’t need God anymore.
At the General Service Level, although the Board members rotate, and the staff rotate through their desks, it is possible for a staff member to continuously work at AAWS for 30+ years and have great influence over the goings on in the office and at the Board Level.

In order to stay out of the governing business, we must practice Spiritual Principles – which is not possible in a democratic hierarchy – because it is a violation of Natural Law. It becomes organized and then we are no different than any other organization out there.