Cultivating Tolerance

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Cultivating Tolerance

Postby ezdzit247 » Thu Aug 04, 2016 4:20 pm

Cultivating Tolerance

During nine years in A.A. 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 educational advantages, and in sympathy toward those whose religious ideas may seem to be at great variance with our own. I 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 which might act as a deterrent to the advancement of another--and a patronizing attitude can readily slow up this process.

Tolerance 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 which is vastly important--in fact a prerequisite to the successful termination of any line of search, whether it be scientific or spiritual. These, then, are a few of the reasons why an attemptto acquire tolerance should be made by each one of us.

-- Grapevine, Editorial: July, 1944, by Dr. Bob of Akron
“To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children...to leave the world a better place...to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.” -- Ralph Waldo Emerson
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Re: Cultivating Tolerance

Postby D'oh » Thu Aug 04, 2016 7:57 pm

Thank You Ezdzit.

Something to meditate on tonight.
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Re: Cultivating Tolerance

Postby Feeya » Thu Aug 04, 2016 10:59 pm

Thank you for sharing that!
One day at a time.
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Re: Cultivating Tolerance

Postby Barbara D. » Fri Aug 05, 2016 9:40 am

Through various stages in my Recovery, I wished all drunks were high-bottom or atheist just like me so I could relate better to the groups as a whole. I tended to concentrate on differences and conclude that you didn't understand me after all. Being anti-conflict, I "tolerated" all those details that just didn't apply to me. :lol:

When I got past my own drunkalogue, I realized all the spokes on the wheel ended up in the same place, so to speak, meaning sobriety! I still look at tolerance as a precursor of acceptance.

Now, I treasure the differences. They test my own belief system. And they represent a microcosm of life-on-life-terms. Reality does not conform to my personality. I need AA's diversity in order grow as a person and a spiritual being!

Thanks everybody! Barbara D., alcoholic
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Re: Cultivating Tolerance

Postby PaigeB » Fri Aug 05, 2016 12:09 pm

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.....

-- Grapevine, Editorial: July, 1944, by Dr. Bob of Akron

Thanks for posting this article and to Dr. Bob, thanks for that!

AND I like this too: I still look at tolerance as a precursor of acceptance.

I like it I like it! :lol:
If I'm not able to say how I'm working my program today, then I'm not working my program.
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Re: Cultivating Tolerance

Postby ezdzit247 » Sat Aug 06, 2016 1:42 pm

I knew very little about Dr. Bob other than he was the co-founder of AA and what he wrote about himself in the BB. I'm very grateful for the internet information super highway and to all the AA members who have used it to post old Grapevine articles and other documents on AA's history on AA's earliest members. All of these oldie-but-goodie gems I've found have given me a much clearer view of AA's past personalities and have been fascinating reads for me.

I agree with the view that tolerance is a precursor to acceptance. I was totally clueless that I really possessed neither before I finally got sober and began working the AA program. My old self believed the erroneous idea that acceptance of someone or something was the same thing as approval. It took me a while to sort out the difference, but once I did, the process of cultivating tolerance and acceptance became much easier for me. Thank God our program is all about progress not perfection or I'd have flunked out a long time ago.... :lol:
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