7th Tradition

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Back in the day (25 or 30 years ago) as we do today, we would pass around a basket at  NA meetings observing our 7th tradition in the hopes of raising enough money to sustain our  meetings; purchasing literature, paying the rent for the meeting space, buying coffee and other expenses.  Contributing is part of paying back what was so freely given to us.  For decades we have been asking addicts to contribute a dollar to the basket.  One dollar doesn’t go very far these days.  And if we consider the gifts given to us after years of recovery some can certainly afford to give more than others.  If you are clean a few years and earn a decent living I would hope you consider giving part of servicing the community that gives us life.  Many groups struggle because they don’t have the number of people to really pay the bills or struggle for other reasons.  Our area groups need to support one and other by giving more and ensuring more money goes to area and onward to carry the message to addicts here in Indy and around the world.  If you are clean (especially for a few years and earn a reasonable living) and don’t give toward the 7th tradition – I am curious why.  I heard someone say “I feel like I have done my part”.  I don’t get that.  What do you think?

9 thoughts on “7th Tradition

  1. Many meetings have in their format “give if you can and, if not, please keep coming back”. I usually give, but sometimes I don’t have cash on me. When I was the ASC treasurer a couple of years ago we had some budgeting issues to deal with . . . In particular, more money was being requested to serve the ASC and related activities than was coming in. Through P&A discussions, some people vented their frustrations at things like members coming into meetings with a Starbucks drink but not donating to the 7th tradition. Part of what came from that discussion is that you cannot guilt members into donating. We have the freedom of choice in a Narcotics Anonymous. I don’t think members are always aware of just how much it costs to carry out all functions of the ASC and it’s subcommittees so perhaps it’s not on their mind when the basket is passed. I think being involved in service at the area level helps to give members a better perspective on the money and budgets we deal with.

  2. Something that I have thought of that would help is some sort of app that allows you to donate anonymously. I only carry cash to give at meetings. So many people have smart phones these days and don’ t carrry cash.

    1. I understand some people don’t carry cash. Or if I call someone out on it they say something like “My wallets in my car”. My thought is that if you are going to a NA meeting and can afford to give then remember to bring your money and give back. Without 7th tradition money a lot of people would never hear the message.

    2. I think this could be an issue. The 7th tradition says “declining outside contributions”. Anonymous online donations could easily be a tradition violation.

  3. two weeks ago I was at a meeting I enjoyed a great deal. Before it began I recognized the secretary and a member, and soon learned they and the GSR had several years each clean-enough to know better later on. Before the meeting the member came in and said to the sec and GSR that last week they and received an anonymous donation, via the meeting facility, paying their rent for six month. He went on to correctly say that the group should not use it because it violated traditions. He even read from It Works: How and Why from the tradition, clearly stating that such donation, not matter how well intended. cannot be used. It was agreed upon by the three that they should give money back to the facility and tell them to give it back to the person who gave it with our thanks. Last week I went back to the meeting. The member was not there. After sitting through the meeting, it came time for the “business meeting.” They had collected a substantial amount that month and were buying lit and making a sizable area donation. I foolishly asked how much the rent was for the month. Answer: $64. However, the sec said it was already paid for by a donation. I reminded them of last week’s meeting and what i thought was a group conscience to give the money back. The GSR got said “I don’t care about any of that, I just want to know what to do with the money.”
    I said, “Maybe we should care if we are violating so many traditions.”
    The sec looked me in the eye and said, “All I know is they told me the rent was paid”!
    I was really shocked andl;eft the meeting. AS far as I know, they used the donation to pay the rent.
    I am saddened by some in this area with enough clean time and their general malaise about traditions. It makes me wonder what their sponsors are teaching them and even more scarier is what these members are teaching those they sponsor. I was basically told that my 26 year in NA meant nothing. At area that week I was told that this area would be better when closed minded old farts move and let the more “open minded” newer members take over. Is this how we treat those who worked so hard to get what we have today?
    When I got here there were eight meetings in town. We have grown because a few people sacrificed a great deal of time helping helping each other survive. NA is great place because a few believed in the NA steps and traditions. Most people have no idea of the service I did and that is by design. Today I am going to area again and really am enjoying it. But I am saddened by those many who leave before new business and so many who don’t seem to have a clue about the traditions.
    Thank you for allowing me to state this opinion. I hope I did not offend anyone as I have kept it completely anonymous.

    Ed. this is the second time I posted this. I screwed up last time. Sorry for the cornfusion. I am an old fart and pretty stupid with computers

  4. My million dollar idea is this: 7th tradition basket with a card swiper on it! Yes, we need to give if we can. If you are coming around and reaping the benefits of NA and you are not giving back in this way when you can, then you are a thief.

  5. As it states in our literature…I could never give enough to repay NA for the life I have been given through this program (paraphrased but you get the idea!). So, I give at least $2 when the basket is passed and try to make sure that I talk to the women I sponsor about the importance of giving back, not only financially but in serving the fellowship as well. I never went to the dope house and told them that I forgot to go to the bank, left my purse in the car, or don’t carry cash…just sayin’!!

  6. “group to be fully self- supporting. We also recognize that many meetings don’t start that way. Some meetings are started by one or two NA members who want to help carry the message to other addicts. Frequently, such members pay rent and buy literature for these meetings out of their own pockets. Sometimes they’re given help by established NA groups or by the nearest area committee. Either way, it may take some time before a new meeting is able to stand on its own feet.
    Other meetings—for instance, many in institutions—are started by nonmember professionals who’ve become acquainted with the Narcotics Anonymous program. Wanting to provide their clients with access to what NA has to offer, these professionals set a time, find a room, buy some literature, give a Group Booklet to the addicts who’ve gathered, and help them start a meeting. After some exposure to the principles underlying the NA program, these recovering addicts begin taking responsibility for their meetings themselves”

    Excerpt From: Fellowship of Narcotics Anonymous. “It Works: How and Why.” Libre Digital, 1993. iBooks.
    This material may be protected by copyright.

    Check out this book on the iBooks Store: https://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewBook?id=564200715

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