Hi I'm Bob and I'm an alcoholic.
A. A. for profit. In meetings, I have been eithergetting hander business cards or poeple just coming out and asking me if I required there services. I feel this is one of the wrost ways to use the fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous. I really liked the way that Tim & Barry approched us about using there services.I feel you did it right and it will help this meeting and A.A. When I encounter this at a meeting I try to explain to these poeple that isn't right. It tells us I the 11 Tradition, this Tradition is a constant and praticical reminder that personal ambition has no place in A.A. In it , each member becomes an active guardian of our Fellowship.I would not want to be a new comer and if I saw that happening I would not of had a good oponion ofA.A. Our first impression especially to new comer is very important. Are we doing all we can to be the guardian of the Traditions?
Thanks, Bob -- good topic, and an important one! When I first joined AA, (walked into a room and got a cup of coffee, that is) a relative newcomer wanted to hand me his card. Yes, he sold insurance! The man standing next to him was firm and polite, but very clear. "Helping drunks is all we do here. Put that away NOW!" I believe it's our responsibility to speak like that every single time someone crosses that line. When we're silent, we're eroding the principles of AA.
The other thing to raise you hand and make it a topic at a discussion meeting. The message usually goes out very fast after that. "We are not allied with any organization. We read it at every meeting! OUR SOLE PURPOSE is to stay sober and help others to achieve sobriety." I'm writing from memory, but I think that's the gist, isn't it?
Long ago I have promised to speak to someone I don't know at every meeting. Not to sell them something, but to become connected. If my mind had been on sales I'd be drunk by now -- and dead!!!
Hi I'm Joanie an alcoholic. Great topic Bob ,I agree with Judy that my place to regain my sober composure is in and around the program. If I use this for materialistic purposes Ilose the whole effect and make money my higher power. I resent people solicitating at meetings the are invading my sober space. When I need things done and need professional help I seek someone in the program and respect their honesty. I find them by word of mouth and reputation. This is something that cannot be bought. Yes I too must do everything possible to remain connected to program and God in order to be Serene and happy. Love to all and welcome to the newcommers to our glorious gift Staying Cyber Joanie O
Hi my name is Herb and I'm an alcoholic I guess anytime a group or an individual strays away from our primary purpose, trouble can not be to far off. Some people in the program fall in love and go on to develop good loving relationships, so I guess the same thing can happen in a business sense, but when business opportunity just like romantic adventure become a reason for going to A.A. trouble can't be far off. Good sponsorship and talking about the Traditions is one way of avoiding this detour from our primary purpose.
Just like any meeting mention a tradition ansd nobody comes around
Hi I'm Cherise and I'm an alcoholic. Thanks Bob for this great topic. I think it is so important to stick with our primary purpose. I agree with what Herb wrote it only means trouble when it goes astray. My honest personal opinion, as far as even using anyone(from the program) in a professional manner is "NOT TOO". I know myself as an alky and it could hurt both parties. I would feel that I might be able to "get away with stuff" that another professional wouldn't accept and I could find myself taking advantage. And if on the other end, I might feel obligated to give discounts or "breaks". AA is here for me to learn how to stay sober,live sober, and carry the message to other alkys. I feel this Tradition is a strong one and I get annoyed when people don't honor it. Thank you. Have a great sober week!!!!
Hi - I'm Barbara and I'm an alcoholic.
Thanks, Bob, for this topic. It made me think, again, about how amazing AA is, and how perfectly it suits its task. I noticed something right away about the meetings I first went to. No one EVER asked me the question: "So, what do you do?" Now, this is the FIRST question that is asked in almost any other situation, business or social. But it seemed almost irrelevant in the rooms of AA. What really counted was WHO WE WERE! And who we could become.
I've never had the experience of having someone in a meeting try to sell me something, or even hand me a business card, unless it was to give me their telephone number at work so that I could call if I needed to. I guess, from what people are saying, that I've been lucky in that respect. But once, in a Tradition meeting (perhaps Tradition 3, or 5, or maybe 8?) a newcomer to the rooms said he finally understood what AA was really about because we were talking about this very subject. He HAD been handed cards, and had begun to think of AA as just another business deal. Which is about as far from the truth of it as you can get.
Thank God for the Traditions! My group has a Tradition meeting once a month, and even those who once disliked Tradition meetings have come to like to hear what's said there. For me, I think they make AA the wonderful thing that it is: "Freely have ye received, freely give."
Welcome to the newcomers here! (I'll be back in a couple of weeks: I'm off for a vacation on Cape Cod!)
Hi, I'm Tim and I'm an alcoholic.
There are crass people wherever you go, AA no exception. The traditions are there for those of us who wish to benefit from the experience of the many before us. There are still those who need to relearn long ago lessons of early AA's.
For myself, I hear too much critizism of others in AA, instead of the "love of correction". Judy's example seemed to show the "love of correction" I also saw in my early days when I was more interested in the skirts then the steps. The old timers gently but firmly told me how to behave. Now, I am willing to speak up when necessary to remind others of the experience of AA's of old.
I try not to forget Bill W. words "love and tolerence are our guides".
PS, I given many jobs to AA's new and old. Everything from processing my film to fixing my roof and checking my hemorriods. Like non AA's, some I've regreted, other's I was delighted with. But, I'll always give a drunk a chance if I can.
Someone gave me a chance!
I'm Barry an Alcoholic,
Sorry for the wise crack, I remember Art D. always saying the steps get us sober,the traditions keep us sober. I love tradition meetings, in my various visits to the rooms I occasionaly saw things going on like the fellow Barb described, and in my sick mind used them as excuses not to stay around.
But my last time through the doors I really started to hear and see what was going on. I went to tradition meetings as suggested. I have'nt had the business card experience, but stay watchful and will tell someone if I think they are breaking a tradition which dilutes our primary purpose, to stay sober and help others achieve sobriety.
I belong to a very stuctured Home group for a reason, I played by my rules for a long time and got nowhere, I need the traditions to keep AA pure for me and the next person.
Another great meeting !
I don't like it either when someone sells at a meeting and like everyone said that if it becomes a habit for someone (a habit, imagine that!) then trouble can't be far off. I have avoided promoting my services, given the opportunity, at meetings for this reason as well as my belief in the Traditions.