This 10 Day Workshop was held at The Recovery Group on October 16, 2006.


A WORKSHOP FOR THE 12 TRADITIONS
October 16th – October 26th

Share and Questions ~ Tradition 4

“Each group should be autonomous except in
matters affecting other groups or OA as a whole.”



Hi I’m Anylength, compulsive overeater.

It’s really good to know that so many of you have decided to participate in this workshop. For those who have only recently joined us "Welcome!". You can see all the postings in regard to the workshop at this website:
http://www.therecoverygroup.org/traditionsworkshop/index.html

Again I encourage you all to answer all the bold print questions in this text and either send them to us at the workshop and/or share them with your sponsor.

When there are “big” words like "autonomy" in a Tradition I often like to consult the dictionary for clarification. I found that ‘autonomy’ is the “right or state of self-government” or “the freedom to determine one’s own actions and behaviour”. Tradition 4 gives this right to self-govern to the groups within the limit of where this right would affect other groups or OA as a whole.

This poses the question what actions a group could take would be affecting other groups or OA as a whole? On level of affecting other groups this would be as simple to move the time and day of the meeting to the same as that of another group nearby. As this would mean that the two groups would then be meeting in a geographically close area at the same time and it could negatively affect the number of members attend each meeting, possibly leading to the forced closure of one of the groups due to lack of support.

Actions a group could take that would affect OA as a whole usually are against other Traditions or go against the group conscience of OA as a whole. OA has a World Service Business Conference (WSBC) in May of each year during which delegates from all registered Intergroups, Regions and National / Language Service Boards are eligible to vote on the directions OA will take. All these service bodies are representing the OA membership as a whole. These decisions are made after careful consideration of all arguments for and against, with the best interest of OA as a whole in mind and therefore represent the will of OA. To go against the policies adopted by WSBC would affect OA as a whole. All the decisions WSBC has made can be read about in the “Current World Service Business Conference Report” item #800 available through OA WSO http://www.oa.org/pdf/Lit_Catalog.pdf

Even without reading this lengthy document one can still come up with some actions a group could take that would affect OA as a whole by using a little common sense.

For instance one of our Traditions claims that “OA has no opinion on outside issues”. Religion is one big outside issue and we all have our own opinions about it. For an OA group to give the impression that their members ought follow one particular faith in order to get the “real” recovery would affect OA as a whole as newcomers would be led to believe that all OA groups were based on this belief.

Another instance would be if a group decided to sell not only OA approved literature but also the newest therapy book written by a well known TV show psychiatrist. This would not only be an endorsement of an outside enterprise but would lead the newcomer to believe that the OA 12 steps of recovery do not work on their own but need to be supplemented with extra therapy books.

Can you think of other examples of what could affect another group or OA as a whole?

One would think that there are so many actions a group could take that would affect other groups or OA as a whole that one would be hard pressed to find what a group’s autonomy really allows a group to do. A group for instance is able to choose whether is wants to be a Big Book study meeting or whether it would like to have the format of an ID (identification) meeting, or whether they want to follow the HOW concept. As a group it can make the decision to hold a special newcomers meeting in the hour preceding it’s regular scheduled meeting time. And it can decide whether as a group they want to have tea and coffee available for the attendees of the meeting.

Can you think of any other decisions a group is free to make under the right of autonomy?

Does your group consider the 12 Traditions when making decisions at the group conscience meetings?

When voting at my local group conscience meeting do we always consider how this decision will affect other groups or OA as a whole?

Thank you for letting me share,

Anylength



QUESTIONS

1. Can you think of other examples of what could affect another group or OA as a whole?

2. Can you think of any other decisions a group is free to make under the right of autonomy?

3. Does your group consider the 12 Traditions when making decisions at the group conscience meetings?

4. When voting at my local group conscience meeting do we always consider how this decision will affect other groups or OA as a whole?








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