SHORT FORM: ‘EACH GROUP SHOULD BE AUTONOMOUS EXCEPT IN MATTERS AFFECTING OTHER GROUPS OR AA AS A WHOLE.’
LONG FORM: ‘WITH RESPECT TO ITS OWN AFFAIRS, EACH AA GROUP SHOULD BE RESPONSIBLE TO NO OTHER AUTHORITY THAN ITS OWN CONSCIENCE. BUT WHEN ITS PLANS CONCERN THE WELFARE OF NEIGHBOURING GROUPS ALSO, THOSE GROUPS OUGHT TO BE CONSULTED. AND NO GROUP, REGIONAL COMMITTEE, OR INDIVIDUAL SHOULD EVER TAKE ANY ACTION THAT MIGHT GREATLY AFFECT AA AS A WHOLE WITHOUT CONFERRING WITH THE TRUSTEES OF THE GENERAL SERVICE BOARD. ON SUCH ISSUES OUR COMMON WELFARE IS PARAMOUNT.’
Make a list of areas of your life, e.g.
Ask, with each of these areas (where relevant):
• Do I follow God speaking through my conscience—or do I follow rigid rules (mine or others’)?
• Do I have the autonomy that flows from living based on principle—or am I a slave to my emotions?
• Do I consider whom my actions may affect and consult them accordingly?
• Do I trust that God speaks through the conscience of others when I consult with them?
• Do I seek unanimity (cf. Concept XII, Warranty IV) with others when my action will affect them?
• Do I seek others’ respect, love, admiration, and approval?
• Does this distort my actions?
• Do I allow others their independence—or do I martyr myself, manage, mother, and manipulate?
• Do I seek guidance on principles and their application—or do I want to be told what to do?
With each question, ask: (1) What is going on? (2) Where am I at fault? (3) What is my corrective measure?
Tradition IV ideas:
‘It is not people, places, things, or relationships, status, or money that are going to satisfy me anymore. It is only seeking to be one with my Maker in all my decisions that will satisfy me now.’