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Old 08-08-2013, 10:57 AM   #4
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Join Date: Aug 2013
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"7th Concept: Legal vs. Practical Control"

Thought for TodAAy
The Seventh Concept of the Twelve Concepts of World Service states that::
"The Charter and Bylaws of the General Service Board are legal instruments, empowering the trustees to manage and conduct world service affairs. The Conference Charter is not a legal document; it relies upon tradition and the A.A.purse for final effectiveness.."

This concept at first appears to set up a conflict -- the trustees are given full legal authority, but the concept acknowledges that without the backing of the Conference and through it the funds and support of the local groups, the trustees could not, as a practical matter, go completely off on their own.


Do we appreciate how much we all, in and out of AA, depend on others to be reasonable and accommodating in what they do? Do we ourselves always try to be reasonable and accommodating when we are given a little authority over someone else, do we do onto them as we would be done onto?

"Eighth Concept -- Trustee Oversight"

The Eighth Concept of World Service provides, in it short form that:

The trustees are the principal planners and administrators of overall policy and finance. They have custodial oversight of the separately incorporated and constantly active services, exercising this through their ability to elect all the directors of these entities."

This concept continues the defining of responsibilities and authority begun in the earlier concepts. It limits the role of the Trustees in the A.A. Grapevine, Inc. and A.A. World Services, Inc. to the kind of oversight achieved by electing the directors of those independent entities, but essentially discouraging them from playing day-to-day roles as active administrators or executives of those companies.


Are there areas in our private lives where we should resist the tempatation to micro-manage, perhaps in the affairs of our spouses or children or parents? Don't we really have our own duties and responsibilities with which we should be concerned?

"Concept 9 -- Leaders & Leadership"

Concept Nine of the Twelve Concepts for World Service states, in its short form:
"Good service leadership at all levels is indispensable for our future functioning and safety. Primary world service leadership, once exercised by the founders, must necessarily be assumed by the trustees.

At first blush, this might seem to be at odds with the Twelfth Tradition that reminds us to place principles before personalities. However, it recognizes the fact that AA members will permit themselves to be lead but they do not generally suffer being told what to do. As Bill Wilson said, it is like we are saying to our leaders, "Act for us, but don't boss us."

If AA is to survive to be able to help more suffering alcoholics, it is imperative that we all find and support the very best General Service Representatives ("GSR's") -- after all, they are the ones who select District Committee Members ("DCM's") and who ultimately select Delegates to the Conference.


Do we fully appreciate all the time and devotion our current GSR's donate as a labor of love on our behalf? Do we support them when asked? If we think we have talents and gifts that could be used on behalf of AA shouldn't we get into action?

"10th Concept -- Responsibility & Authority"

The Tenth Concept of World Service states, in its short form:

"Every service responsibility should be matched by an equal service authority, with the scope of such authority well defined."

This concept is the principle that underlies some of the earlier concepts relating to the groups having the ultimate authority but then having that authority being delegated ultimately to the Conference and then to the Trustees, but with the delegation of authority always being accompanied by a clear statement of the scope of authority and responsibility.


Isn't this a principle that we could use in our lives outside AA? If we're going to hold someone responsible for producing certain results, shouldn't we give them the authority needed to make those things happen? At the same time, don't we need to sharply define what that authority is, for their protection and our protection?

"11th Concept -- The Best"

The Eleventh Concept of World Service, in short form, states as follows::

"The trustees should always have the best possible committees, corporate service directors, executives, staffs, and consultants. Composition, qualification, induction procedures, and the rights and duties will always be matters of serious concern."

This concept recognizes that the trusted servants who work for the various AA entities need to be carefully selected because they will have the most day-to-day contact with members and others interested in AA. The Twelve Concepts of World Service specifically mentions the nominating, budgetary, public information, literature and general policy committees as requiring people with very specific skills and outlooks.


Do we appreciate the services of the paid staff at the club or central service office in our area? When is the last time we said a simple "thanks" to them? Why not do that today?

"12th Concept -- AA Tradition"

The Twelfth Concept of World Service, in its short form, states as follows:
"The Conference shall observe the spirit of AA. tradition, taking care that it never becomes the seat of perilous wealth or power; that sufficient operating funds and reserve be its prudent financial principle; that it place none of its members in a position of unqualified authority over others; that it reach all important decisions by discussion, vote, and whenever possible, by substantial unanimity; that its actions never be personally punitive nor an incitement to public controversy; that it never perform acts of government, and that, like the Society it serves, it will always remain democratic in thought and action."

In its long form, the Twelfth Concept is actually Article 12 of the Conference Charter. It is considered so important that it can be changed only by written consent of three-quarters vote of the directory-listed AA groups, and then only after six months has been allowed for deliberation.


How do our groups and clubs measure up to this Concept? Could it be worthwhile to maybe discuss this Concept at our group conscience meetings?
"No matter what you have done up to this moment, you get 24 brand-new hours to spend every single day." --Brian Tracy
AA gives us an opportunity to recreate ourselves, with God's help, one day at a time. --Rufus K.
When you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on. --Franklin D. Roosevelt
We stay sober and clean together - one day at a time!
God says that each of us is worth loving.
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