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Tolerance of Others

Big_book_2nd_editionThough we did not like their symptoms and the way these disturbed us, they, like ourselves, were sick too. We asked God to help us show them the same tolerance, pity and patience that we would cheerfully grant a sick friend. When a person offended we said to ourselves, “This is a sick man. How can I be helpful to him? God save me from being angry. Thy will be done.”

We avoid retaliation or argument. We wouldn’t treat sick people that way. If we do, we destroy our chance of being helpful. We cannot be helpful to all people, but at least God will show us how to take a kindly and tolerant view of each and every one. BB page 67.

Life is full of people we like and people that annoy us. The Big Book tells us to treat the ones that annoy us with tolerance, pity and patience. The flip side is that at times we go out of our way to please people, in order not to lose their friendship or the relationship. That can also lead to resentments and anger. On page 64 of the BB it says: “Resentment is the number one offender. It destroys more alcoholics than anything else.”  Balance is what is required in all relationships.

“Tolerance only for those who agree with you is no tolerance at all.”
― Ray Davis
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