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Tradition 9: Alive and Well

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Our group has no government, no permanent officeholders, no small committee that runs everything, and no authorities. Instead, we encourage rotation of service for all offices.

Our longest-term members are not even informal leaders. Instead, they are only members among members. (Sometimes longtimers’ perspectives make them more sensitive to Tradition breaks than newer members, but we are all encouraged to speak up when necessary for the good of the group, since many of us know groups that have closed because a Tradition or two was ignored.)

Our biggest donors do not have any special influence. Instead, everyone is equal, no matter how rich or poor. Mostly we don’t even know how much people donate, and if we happen to find out, we ignore it.

Our members who have influential careers leave their outside status behind when they come into the rooms. People do not announce their jobs to us. Again, even if we find out, such outside issues do not make any difference to us.

Our members who have lost the most weight or who have maintained abstinence the longest don’t tell other people how to work their programs. Instead, they only say what worked for them.

Our members who sponsor have no greater status than anyone else. There is no status in our group. Instead, we encourage everyone to sponsor when they are ready.

Our group’s money does not give us any power. We don’t keep it. Instead, we give it away. Whatever money we have saved after covering expenses like rent and literature, we donate to OA’s service bodies: our intergroup, our region, and the World Service Office. If we donate more or less than other groups, it doesn’t make our group any more or less important.

So there you have it—Tradition Nine is indeed alive and well in our OA group.

— Edited and reprinted from OA Today newsletter, St. Louis Bi-State Area Intergroup, September 2015

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