Great home group meeting tonite! We discussed the Traditions, and the importance of trying to follow the Traditions in an effort to keep the AA message clean, clear and as it was back when AA first began. There were several men in attendance who were relatively new to AA, and there were several mentions about "rules" and what's "supposed to go on" in an AA meeting, conference approved literature and the like.
So, in the absence of anyone else doing so, I took it upon myself to share my E, S & H regarding my years in service to the members of AA as GSR, Area Recording Secretary and so forth. I was afraid that these new fellows would miss the spirit of the Traditions, for all the "suposed to's" and "rules" that were being somehat clouded by opinion when it comes to what's approriate discussion matter, whether or not conference approved literature cannot be read or discussed at AA meetings, stuff like that.
It's been my experience that it's really great to follow the Traditions closely, lest we water down the message of AA. But, I am certianly no Tradition hardliner. Out of respect for AA and those members who have no experience with drugs, I don't discuss it much, even in my leads. Although I will make note that I struggled with drug addiction, as it is a part of my story. I am not one who will pitch a fit if someone wants to read and discuss the 24 hrs a day, walk in dry places, the little red book and so forth. But I know some members who will get pretty fired up if any Traditions are "violated" along those lines. I just wanted to try to help make clear that AA is no draconian rules-filled bunch of hard asses. But, it's also important that we take our example of what works and what doesn't work from the peolpe who came before us that tried various things in AA, some successful, some maybe not so much. (i.e. the 12 Traditions, which are in place to save AA from its membership)
Suffice it to say we had a lively discussion, as is usually the case when such matters come up in meetings. I love it, cuz we go to talk through something we rarely discuss any more in meetings, our heritage, our history, who we are as an organization, and the absolute divine intervention that's kept our fellowship going and growing for so long, despite all the goofball alcoholics (pretty much all of us, lol) who belong.