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Old 11-16-2008, 01:07 AM   #1
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Cool First Tradition Worksheet

TRADITION ONE: “Our common welfare should come first; personal
recovery depends upon NA unity.”
Our personal recovery begins with an admission that we can no longer make it on our own. We come to recognize that our survival now depends on being part of a fellowship of recovering addicts. We begin to see how each of us is part of a greater whole, both in and outside the fellowship. The focus of our lives shifts from “me” and “mine” to “us” and “ours”.
As we experience sharing and caring for other people, our wall of isolation and false self-sufficiency crumbles. We find strength, hope and fulfillment in acknowledging our interdependence. Growing spiritually, we no longer base our actions on purely selfish motives. Our choices reflect the greater interest we take in the welfare of those around us.
Read the chapter in THE BASIC TEXT for the first tradition. Read the chapter in IT WORKS HOW & WHY on the first tradition. Write answers to the following:
1. What does this tradition mean to you?
2. What does this tradition mean to NA?
3. What is unity?
4. How is unity the practical foundation of our traditions?
5. Should we place “our common welfare” before our personal welfare? If so why?
6. What are some of the common causes of disunity?
7. How do you fit into NA unity?
8. How does personal recovery depend on NA unity?
9. What are some of the benefits we receive from living this tradition?
10. The spiritual principles of this tradition are acceptance, surrender, and honesty. Define in your own words the spiritual principles in this tradition. Look up and write the definition from the dictionary.

Our common welfare
Our common welfare comes ahead of my personal welfare...
...but our common welfare should never come at the expense of anyone's personal welfare.
Focusing on our common welfare helps me to stay focused on my own goal of personal recovery.

NA Unity.
Unity is not uniformity.
If two people always agree on everything, it's a good bet that one of them is doing all the thinking.
Unity will not ask anyone to conform to any situation they are not cut out for.
Unity makes room for everyone, no matter who they are or what we think about their recovery.
Unity is not competitive.
"We work separately and together to help the newcomer and for our common good." ("Introduction" page xvi)
We are united against addiction.
We are not in a race against each other.
We are not in a race against other organizations.
The entire point of NA is that we can do together what we could never do alone.
What can I do to promote NA unity?
I can't make you do anything to promote NA unity.
I can find out what NA is and surrender to it.

1. Read Tradition One out of the Basic Text Every Day before writing.

2. Look up each word individually and write what you learn about the difference between what you thought it meant and what the Dictionary says it means.

3. Answer in writing these questions from your experience:

a. What protects us from ourselves?

b. Do disagreements and conflicts cause disunity?

c. What does cause disunity?

4. What does this statement mean to you, “Disagree without being disagreeable”?

5. Search out more information on this Tradition and write about anything you agree or disagree with strongly.

Tradition One guarantees our survival and freedom as a Fellowship to continue to carry the message to the addict who still suffers.

1. What are the two things Tradition One concerns is with? (Paragraph 1)

2) What is imperative to our survival as an addict? (Paragraph 1)

3) Does this tradition teach us that we don’t need certain addicts? (Paragraph 2)

4) Can we put members out whom we don’t like or who do not do what we tell them to do? (Paragraph 2)

5) How do we lead and learn from each other in Narcotics Anonymous? (Paragraph 2)

6) What do we do differently in NA concerning our personal desires? (Paragraph 2)

7) What does our personal experience teach us about self-sufficiency? (Paragraph 3)

What three common themes did we find in our recovery? (Paragraph 3)

9) How do we deal with disagreements and conflicts in NA? (Paragraph 4)

10) What are some of the commonplace activities in our Fellowship? (Paragraph 4)

11) How do we ensure that we will survive and continue to carry the message to the addict who still suffers? (Paragraph 5)

12) How can we apply and practice the spiritual lessons of common welfare, unity, compromise, teamwork, settling disagreement and conflict in our home lives outside of the Fellowship? (From the heart)

Applying spirituals principles

In the Twelve Steps of NA we learn to apply principles to better our lives. Moved by the miracle of personal recovery, we reach out to share that miracle with others. This is the essence of being of service in NA. In supporting our unity, we first apply principles to guide our own behavior. As groups, we use the same principles for guidance. That guidance creates a sense of unity that strengthens our ability to reach out to others, enhancing our common welfare. Some of the principles that seem particularly important to unity include surrender and acceptance, commitment, selflessness, love, and anonymity. As we practice these principles, we will find others who strengthen unity as well. Surrender and acceptance open the door to unity. As our trust in a Higher Power grows, it gets easier to let go of our personal desires and stop fighting for what we want. With an attitude of surrender, working together in a group becomes easier. Tradition One presents a picture of addicts working together worldwide to support each other's recovery. We try to remember this goal in all our actions, as individuals or as groups. If we find that our personal desires or the aims of our group conflict with that ideal, unity asks us to surrender our own desires and accept guidance that enhances the greater good of Narcotics Anonymous. Only by deciding to be part of that whole can we support the unity so essential to our personal survival.

What does surrender mean in the context of Tradition One?

What does acceptance mean in the context of Tradition One?

Commitment is another essential ingredient in unity. Personal commitment to our shared sense of purpose is one of the ties that bind us together. When we know that we belong in NA, and when we make a commitment to stay, we become a part of the greater whole. Our sense of belonging is closely related to our degree of commitment to recovery in NA. As groups, the combined strength of that commitment is a powerful force in serving others. With that strong commitment, we are able to carry the message of hope that will support us all in our recovery. Commitment is a decision supported by our belief in NA as a way of life. Regular meeting attendance is one way in which we live out that belief. Greeting newcomers as they arrive or giving our telephone number to someone who needs help also reflects our decision. Sponsorship, sharing in meetings, setting up chairs before meetings—all these are ways in which we express our commitment. Each member finds a level of service that fits comfortably into a balanced program of recovery.

What does commitment mean to me?

Have I found what I am comfortable doing in the Fellowship of Narcotics Anonymous?

What can I do to help the addict who still suffers?

Am I giving back that which was so freely given to me?

In what other ways do I live out the belief that NA is a way of life?

Selflessness is another indispensable element in unity. The principles we learn in the Steps help us let go of our selfishness and lovingly serve the needs of others. To keep our groups healthy, we place the needs of our group ahead of our own personal desires. The same principle applies to our affairs as a group. Setting aside what we may want as a group, we think about the needs of the Fellowship and seek ways to support our common good. Our ability to survive as a Fellowship and to reach others depends on our unity.

What does selflessness mean in the context of Tradition One?

Love is a principle that is expressed in the practice of goodwill toward one another. We contribute to unity in our meetings by exercising loving care in the way we speak to and the way we treat one another. We try to share our experience, strength, and hope in a way, which demonstrates that recovery, is available in Narcotics Anonymous. An atmosphere of love and care in our meetings helps members feel comfortable and safe. The love we show each other attracts newcomers and strengthens us all, fueling our sense of unity and common welfare.

How can I show the love I have for the Fellowship?

What is unconditional love?

Anonymity, the spiritual foundation of our Traditions, supports NA unity as well. When we apply anonymity to the First Tradition, we overlook the differences that would separate us. In the context of unity, anonymity means that the message of recovery is for every addict who wants it. We learn to set aside our prejudices and focus on our common identity as addicts. Each of us has an equal right to and responsibility for the well-being of Narcotics Anonymous. Just as anonymity is the spiritual foundation of our Traditions, the unity spoken of in the First Tradition is the practical foundation on which we may build strong and successful groups. With unity as our practical foundation, we find that our relationship with one another is more important than any issue that may arise to divide us. No problem or disagreement is more significant than our need for each other's support. The fundamental importance of our common welfare strengthens our understanding of all the other Traditions. Many questions can be answered simply by determining how the action we contemplate will affect the unity of the Fellowship. Will it serve to divide us, or will it bring us closer together?

Are we practicing anonymity in our group?

Our common welfare should come first; personal recovery depends on NA unity.

1. In my group am I a healing, mending, and integrating person or do I create disunity or dissention? What about gossip and taking other members inventories?

2. Am I a peacemaker or do I, with pious preludes such as "just for the sake of discussion", plunge into an argument?

3. Am I gentle with those who rub me the wrong way or am I abrasive?

4. Do I make competitive NA remarks such as comparing one group with another or contrasting NA in one place with NA in another?

5. Do I put down some NA activities as if I were superior for not participating in this or that aspect of NA?

6. Am I informed about NA as a whole? Do I support NA in every way I can as a whole, or just in the parts I understand and approve of?

7. Am I as considerate of NA members as I want them to be of me?

8. Do I spout platitudes about love, while indulging in and secretly justifying behaviors that bristle with hostility?

9. Do I go to enough meetings, or read enough NA literature to really keep in touch?

10. Do I share all of me with NA, the bad and the good? Do I accept, as well as give, help in the fellowship?

11. Have I paid enough attention to the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions? Pamphlets? Basic Text?

If I am not the problem....
then there is no solution...
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