I disagree with the proposal to add these requirements:
I propose to add four new requirements for a scheduled chairperson.
- Is gamefree.
- Is working the steps
- has a sponsor
- has been accepted by group conscience
Before I go into more details, I want to say a few words about the role Service plays in recovery. My being of service has been extremely
important in my recovery, and I have not always had a sponsor or have been working the steps while chairing meetings, nor was I accepted by the group conscience. I was game-free.
What did I do? I made it a priority to be aware
of putting the meeting on my personal calendar. I have a belief that being a meeting chair person is a privilege and a responsibility. As recovery meeting chair, I am being trusted with an important part of our members' recovery process. I never take trust for granted. I don't trust people easily with the important things in life, and when others indicate they trust me, it helps me believe in myself, and it helps me believe in them. It's a journal of mutual growth and development, a process of becoming more sober and more mature.
Without providing this service opportunity to members who haven't got a lot under their belt yet, we are removing a very important avenue for them to develop and strengthen their metaphorical responsibility, trust , generosity, and selflessness muscles. Thoughts of "someone trusts me to do this," "I am giving something of myself and my time to other people who are suffering as I am or have been suffering," and "I can
be trusted to do this, I am responsible enough to do it" are crucial parts of my recovery journey. Also, I have the thoughts and fears, "What if I can't do it?" "What if I fail - they'll hate me, they'll never forgive me, I will be disgraced." So then I have to talk back to those fears, "I might fail. I don't know if I will. If I feel as though I'm going to fail the fellowship, I will connect with people and express my thoughts and feelings and ask for help." That way, I know that I am holding up my end of the relationship, and not taking for granted the privilege of being allowed to lead regularly scheduled meetings.
Being permitted to chair a meeting gives me hope that I can maintain my sobriety and that I can help others lessen their suffering and that I can live up to expectations I couldn't have imagined while I was still buried under active gaming addiction.
Experience, Strength, and Hope.
Here are my thoughts about the specific requirements.
I can agree with a scheduled chair person needing to be game-free as long as
"game-free" is not required to be a long duration. If a person has fewer than three days game-free, my opinion is that it would be rather difficult for them to chair a meeting. Of course, this is very subjective
. I don't think there can be an objective standard. Also, bear in mind that we have no real way to enforce this rule.
For me, this as a suggestion
. Something along the lines of "If you have less than 3 game-free days, you might need or want to step down temporarily from leading meetings. This is suggested so that you have some time to catch up on sleep and gain sharper focus." Maybe add something like: if you are or have been unable to chair your scheduled meetings for an extended time, it's recommended you step down from chairing the meeting on a more permanent basis to give another member a chance to be of service by chairing the meeting.
2) Is working the steps
and 3) has a sponsor
I strongly disagree with these two requirements. Instead, I propose the following: The person is a member of CGAA. Who is a member of CGAA? According to Tradition 3, "The only requirement for C.G.A.A. membership is a desire to stop computer/video gaming."
Here is a quote from our mission statement:
"Our groups share their collective experience and the principles that helped them. Each of us is free to try out or disregard the suggestions of the program and other members."
And from the cgaa.info website, "What C.G.A.A. is and is not" page:
"Our groups share their collective experience and the principles that helped them, but C.G.A.A. has no dogma, no teachings, no gurus, and no rules"
Requirements 2) and 3) are not compatible with these statements. Also, these two new requirements would create an inner circle, an upper echelon, a more privileged class of members. This goes against my understand of what our fellowship is about, our mission, and how we encourage and support members on their recovery journey.
4) has been accepted by group conscience
In theory, I agree with this. However, if the delay required to get the group conscience acceptance is too long, I'm not sure I would agree in practice. Again, "too long" is somewhat subjective. I think a month is too long to wait to assign a chair person to a scheduled meeting. A week's delay would not be too long, in my opinion. I might also take into consideration questions such as: How long has the chair position for that scheduled time slot been open? How many other time slots are also without a meeting leader? How many newcomers are showing up in that meeting?