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Giving … 7th Tradition …

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When we speak it is experience, strength and hope. Not what we give from our pockets.

I’ve never heard someone share from the podium reference to putting anything in the basket. Never. If someone chooses to put money in the kitty it is their prerogative. And not ours to demand, or require, whatever the amount of time someone has. There are people who come to meetings (here) that never contribute to the kitty. And some folks don’t necessarily hear the words, “now it is time for the 7th tradition which states …” you know the rest,

I’ve never heard someone make an issue about giving to the kitty. It’s not our place to do so. If people give they give, and if they don’t they don’t.

I’ve got 11 years. And I contribute to the kitty at every meeting I go to. I also give back in service and speaking on occasion. But I would never drop a word about giving to the kitty, in ANY audience. You have to let people take things in their own time. In time they might begin to give, and maybe they won’t. Nobody is a freeloader if they don’t contribute. People come because they want to get well, and maybe that might mean that they don’t contribute. But it is not our place to place guilt or judgment that they don’t give and they ought to, as you say. What we ought to do is carry the message to the newcomer. What it was like, what happened and what it is like now. In that formula, there is no mention about the kitty in my book !

The 7th tradition is optional, not a requirement.

And if you came to a meeting and said that you believe as members who have gotten the message and come to meetings, and thereby obligating us to give because we have been freely given, I might say aside that it is not our place to say anything about contributions financial or otherwise. Every group ought to be fully self supporting declining outside contributions.

The traditions are there to guide the (groups). The steps are there to guide the (human).

If you feel strongly that long standing members always give to the kitty, i challenge you to pray about what you share from the podium. Why are you focusing on the kitty? And what are you not seeing in your own actions that you should? And does this have to do with other members of the group not giving to the kitty? What are your resentments and your character defects?

Humility – Honesty …

We don’t talk about money from the podium. Bill would never have done that. Go back to the books and read it. The 7th tradition was begun to make sure that meetings become autonomous and that we have enough money to buy books, material, pay rent, 3 months prudent reserve, coffee and (in our case: Cookies). The excess money goes to inter-group or the area or NYC.

The 7th tradition is spoken at some point in the meeting guide, and leave it at that. Be grateful for what the group makes. And not put it on the shoulders of ANY member to be obligated to give at any time. That’s an outside issue. Like I said the 7th is optional not a requirement.

Time to consult your Twelve and Twelve …

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2 responses

  1. Hi Jeremy…. so one question…. and I know we have already dialogued a bit on this…. but one thing that comes to mind for me is …. Bill (W) would never talk about money from the podium?

    How would we know one way or the other? I can’t imagine it would never have come up.

    Just curious about this perspective.

    Thanks.

    Chaz

    February 27, 2013 at 3:03 am

    • Got your reply…. thanks. I seldom log into that account so replying here.

      Um… thats interesting. I have read Dr. Bob and the good Old Timers and that never really jumped out at me. But it is rich in content so not everything will jump out first time around.

      If this were indeed the case, I can imagine that, once again, the sensitivity of the money issue not only as a topic in public, but also internally between members and founders. Money is a hot button issue and one of much contention. Feelings and disputes over it can fracture families and organizations. Nations go to war over it. Yet it is natural that some would want to bring it up. For all the same reasons others don’t wish to bring it up.

      With all that said…. for me… I would agree that a simple statement about what the 7th is and isn’t on a regular basis is as much as is necessary in a public meeting. The rest can be dealt with by a sponsor if someone has questions.

      AA became wise enough, probably through experience and mis-haps, to keep the role of money simple and well defined. For as we can all see…. as evidenced from my original post and the rattling I went through over it, that it can be an explosive and divisive topic.

      One that we as humans, like with so many things, naturally endeavor to create a series of “laws” (aka, “musts”) around in order to control the behaviours of others and bring them into conformity of what our weaknesses want. This is not grace, this is not faith, this is not the hand of kindness reached out to the alcoholic who still suffers…. well, unless of course we are reaching for his wallet :) … which is what it comes across as if it is pounded from the podium.

      Law versus Grace in AA…. I feel another post topic coming on.

      Thanks bro!

      Chaz

      February 27, 2013 at 11:59 am

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