I want my home group to be the best A.A home group in the world. For this to be a reality, unity is vital. As Bill W said ‘We stay whole, or A.A dies’.
As a newcomer, I sometimes felt that I knew better that the old timers in my home group. As a result I became resentful, gossipy and a very real threat to unity.
However, as my thinking has changed through practising the principles of A.A, I have come to trust the experience of the people around me.
Often when their guidance has seemed wrong, I have learned to surrender to the voice of experience. The end result being that my home group has remained strong, unified and attractive to the newcomer.
Uncomfortable with the idea that A.A had to have ‘leaders’, I was not willing to listen to anyone other than my Sponsor. Whilst this is sound advice for the brand newcomer, I discovered that if I wished to progress through the service structure, I would need to listen to other ‘trusted servants’ of A.A. If the GSR asked me to do something, I did it – no questions asked. When an old timer made a suggestion, I took it as seriously as I would with my own Sponsor.
The temptation to go around winging to other group members had to be kerbed. That is unattractive to the newcomer and detrimental to the unity of my group.
In the end this all boils down to our first tradition. ‘Our common welfare must come first; personal recovery depends upon A.A unity’.
Jo P. Road to Recovery, Plymouth