Finally, we begin to see that all people, including ourselves, are to some extent emotionally ill as well as frequently wrong . . .
These are some more of the most important words in the program for me. I’m coming to see that Step Ten is full of some of the most important words.
I’ve written about it before, but it’s been a recent lighting of a light bulb within my head that has enabled me to view this in a new way.
Taking something like road rage as an example. It’s something everyone on the road experiences, fairly often, and I think a good deal of our psychic serenity goes out the door because of this.
Say I could line up all the drivers I will meet on the road on my way to work Monday. I have no idea how many people that would be. I drive 23 miles in 30-45 minutes, one two major roadways and some lesser streets.
If I could line up all these people with myself included, and have them ranked from the worst driver to the best, I would not be at either extreme but somewhere in the middle.
When I’m upset that someone hasn’t driven as well as I think she should, as well as I think I do, my anger or annoyance goes out toward that person or action. But there are others on the road who think the same of me, and they’re right.
All the staff people at my work. All the AA members in my meeting. All the worshippers in my church. All the neighbors in my neighborhood. There are always, as the poem points out, people who are greater than and less than me. Ranking them in my mind as greater or less than me makes me vain, or bitter, or angry, or depressed. My daughter is a better crocheter than me. Does that make a difference, as I crochet? Will the person who wears my creation care that my daughter could have done it better?
At work, there are people who are smarter than me, and kinder than me, and more patient and who show better common sense. As I interact with a client, does it matter who can do it better? Or that I do my best? Does it matter, if I am actually the best at it? What good does it do to rank and name and judge the people who can’t do it as well as I can?
All people are frequently wrong. All.