- Dr Bob on tolerence

Dr Bob on tolerence




General discussions related to A.A. History.

Dr Bob on tolerence

Postby ccs » Mon Jun 01, 2009 11:33 pm

On Cultivating Tolerance
By Dr. Bob Smith
From the editorial column of the July 1944 AA Grapevine

During 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.

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 that 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 that is vastly important - is, 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 attempt to acquire tolerance should be made by each one of us.
ccs
 
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Postby leejosepho » Sun Aug 09, 2009 8:21 am

ccs wrote:During 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.


Or in words from our book:

"Most of us sense that real tolerance of other people's shortcomings and viewpoints and a respect for their opinions are attitudes which make us more useful to others." (pages 19-20)

"The rule is we must be hard on ourself, but always considerate of others." (page 74)

Embracing and learning to practice a useful tolerance for other people's intellectual shortcomings and religious viewpoints first required an intolerance of my own:

"Some of us have tried to hold on to our old ideas and the result was nil until we let go absolutely." (page 58)

And once I had done that, I no longer had any agenda to push!

And, I believe that is at least part of what Dr. Bob had in mind while mentioning "follow the Alcoholics Anonymous program with the greatest earnestness and zeal."

===
Tolerance, n. (Webster)
The power or capacity of enduring; or the act of enduring.
===

Or in Dr. Bob's words: kindness, consideration, understanding and sympathy shown to others along the way.
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Postby Rain » Sun Aug 29, 2010 1:48 pm

T :) hanks for posting this; it's just what I needed to see today.
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