While I have a little bit of time left before I must go I want to write about 3 behaviors that I think need to be avoided while in AA and why these are important to avoid.
The first one is don’t be the guy who puts nothing in the 7th tradition. For those who don’t know this is our basket that goes around, it’s like church you put in what you wish, there are no requirements. There is a huge difference between being the guy who does things because he wants to and because he has to. The guy who only spends money on something because he has to is self-serving he won’t grow and he will always be worried about his own problems so much that he will cause himself more problems with his micro-management of his own life and needs. Be the kind of guy who wants to help although he can get away with not helping at all.
You don’t want to be the loophole guy. AA’s are really keen on twisting words or finding ways around things that do not suit them. At our fellowship we have a monthly birthday dinner meeting and we suggest a 5$ donation to attend. You get to eat dinner and then afterwards we have the birthday chip meeting. Inevitable there is some guy who will make the announcement about the meeting and say “if you don’t have 5$ show up anyway and do some dishes, be of service. Don’t be the guy who always looks for the way out. Don’t set out to take advantage of that loophole. If you want something bad enough make sacrifices, plan to not spend all of your money ahead of time and put aside 5$ for that dinner. I stopped eating at the donut shop and buying newspapers so I could put more money in the 7th tradition.
Don’t be the guy who shows up 45 minutes after a meeting has started and as soon the person speaking finished you chime in and speak. If you do this once in 5 years it is understandable but no on the regular. Think of others and be willing to put others first. Be repsectful of the meeting. If you showed up 45 minutes late have respect for those that were there the whole time and acknowledge that they have earned the right to share at this minute before you do. It is fair. Be fair and also learn the lesson that sometimes when you are distraught and you feel that strong urgency to speak and act out on the anguish you are feeling the best thing to do is not to act, not acting is a new skill we need to learn because so often we would impulsively want to quickly fix our angst or anger or fear our discomfort and we would cause wreckage in our lives. Learn to slow down. Learn to sit with your discomfort.