“Each group should be autonomous except in matters affecting other groups or AA as a whole”
The fourth tradition tells us numerous things. First off, any two people getting together for the purpose of sobriety can call themselves an AA group as long as they have no other affiliation. If they are sitting and talking about how they can get and stay sober, they may call themselves a group. That is how all this started. One alcoholic talking to another in order to save his own life.
We hear in meetings, sometimes, the quote, “they don’t do it right or the same way they do it in my home group”. The reason is because each group, by group conscience, can decide how they are going to run their meeting, as long as it does not interfere with AA as a whole. What constitutes interference is not up to an individual though, it is up to the group.
When we internalize the traditions they can mean a lot to us personally as well. It is no longer just about me, me, me. The group comes first. We have no President. Without the group as a whole AA will die, and then we as individuals will die soon after. Surely, all the steps and traditions of AA are written by the hand of God. How could a society with no leadership or dues survive and save as many lives as AA has. Today I will remain grateful for everything the program has to offer.