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Speaking Traditions

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The Tradition Ten article in the October 2015 Lifeline (“Learning Curve”, p. 19) provided me with some food for thought.

The author implied that the facilitator had acted out a character defect by pointing out the importance of not citing non-OA-approved literature at OA meetings. I disagree. It is so easy for an OA meeting to get off track when Tradition breaches are ignored.

In the fifteen years I’ve spent in OA, I’ve been fortunate to attend meetings that study Traditions, but even then I find it is very difficult to speak up.

Two factors are important to my decision either to speak up or to wait and speak privately to the offender. First is my motive. Is my side of the street clear, free of anger or ego? Some OA Principles that come into play in the decision to speak up are honesty, courage, integrity, and service. Second, how important was the breach? For me, citing outside literature is nearly always too important to overlook.

Of course, when speaking up, I want to do it kindly, always assuming my fellow OA member broke a Tradition by accident.

I appreciate it very much when group members put the good of OA ahead of fear when speaking up to protect OA Traditions.

— Anonymous

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