Such a radical change in our outlook will take time, maybe a lot of time. Not many people can truthfully assert that they love everybody. Most of us admit that we have loved but a few; that we have been quite indifferent to the many so long as none of them gave us trouble; and as for the remainder–well, we have really disliked or hated them. Although these attitudes are common enough, we A.A.’s find we need something much better in order to keep our balance. We can’t stand it if we hate deeply. The idea that we can be possessively loving of a few, can ignore the many, and can continue to fear or hate anybody, has to be abandoned, if only a little at a time.
This fits with my Protestant/hippie/peace/love blah blah, which may be part of why I’ve had some success with AA. I recognize these words to be true and ideal, and something I should strive for. AA often takes the should out of the things for alcoholics. Drinking, I was dying, so yes should becomes must.
Part of the wisdom that comes with aging, for me, is seeing that I have been terribly wrong at times and understanding I still may be. I can be so very judgemental.
I listened to a conversation two people in AA had the other day. They used to go to a certain meeting, now one of them isn’t able to attend that meeting often. The other was catching her up on what’s been going on with the meeting, and the critique of several people who attend went on for several minutes. This person leads (tells her whole story) every time she speaks. This other one does the same. Another spouts off wonderful stuff, but it’s so repetitive. Someone else often doesn’t make any sense at all.
I kept my thoughts about it to myself, but I was thinking of it in the new way I’m trying to view humility. If you took everyone in that meeting and ranked them according to how well they shared at an AA meeting, arguably you could rank them from best to worst.
Then what? Are the worst sharers so bad that they will harm the tender newcomer? Who will decide? Should the worst be talked to, coached, told to be quiet? Who will decide?
But OK, for me that’s an easy call. What about the administrator who I feel has been selfish and wrong and has damaged the program for people with disabilities? What about the (few) people I’ve worked with who seemed almost evil?
There is someone I work with who obviously, actively dislikes me, and I give in to negative thoughts and dark moods several times a day when I have to interact with him.
I don’t think I consciously, actively actually hate anyone right now. Dislike for sure.
So I’m brought up a bit short by the first sentence of this section that says it may take a very long time. Because that is what I have, a very long time. For now I know that I understand the concept somewhat and agree that it is ideal and something I should continue to strive for.