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By Dr. Bob S.
nine years in AA, I have observed that those who follow
the Alcoholics Anonymous program with the greatest earnestness
and zeal not only maintain sobriety but often acquire finer
characteristics and attitudes as well. One of these is tolerance.
Tolerance expresses itself in a variety of ways: in kindness
and consideration toward the man or woman who is just beginning
the march along the spiritual path; in the understanding
of those who perhaps have been less fortunate in education
advantages; and in sympathy toward those whose religious
ideas may seem to be at great variance with our own.
am reminded in this connection of the picture of a hub with
its radiating spokes. We all start at the outer circumference
and approach our destination by one of many routes. To say
that one spoke is much better than all the other spokes
is true only in the sense of its being best suited to you
as an individual. Human nature is such that without some
degree of tolerance, each one of us might be inclined to
believe that we have found the best or perhaps the shortest
spoke. Without some tolerance, we might tend to become a
bit smug or superior - which, of course, is not helpful
to the person we are trying to help and may be quite painful
or obnoxious to others. No one of us wishes to do anything
that might act as a deterrent to the advancement of another
- and a patronizing attitude can readily slow up this process.
furnishes, as a by-product, a greater freedom from the tendency
to cling to preconceived ideas and stubbornly adhered-to
opinions. In other words, it often promotes an open-mindedness
that is vastly important - is, in fact, a prerequisite to
the successful termination of any line of search, whether
it be scientific or spiritual.
then, are a few of the reasons why an attempt to acquire
tolerance should be made by each one of us.
Grapevine, Inc July 1944
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