Alcoholics Anonymous Video August 21 DonInLondon Step 8 "Amends And Willing"
August 21, 2013: "how do we deal with knowledgeable idiots? Number one, do not assume that they are an idiot or knowledgeable. Find out a little bit about their background if you can and why you are in their company." Sometimes, based on old judgements and old knowledge we make assumptions about the abilities of other people. Or we become more open to knowledgeable idiots in recovery because we can think that they are normal, and in fact they are quite ignorant because of their own belligerent denial. Or we just don't know what their agenda is when we are in their company. I must not act out of contempt, I need to investigate and check whether they are ignoramuses after all.
Sometimes and recovery, and learning this new life of being open honest and willing to change, we apply the same outlooks to people we encounter in life. Within the fellowship we might come to believe that everybody is on the path of righteousness! This is not true; everyone in recovery is on a journey and is still learning what it is to live an emotional and spiritual life. A lot of people are new, a lot of people are getting well, a lot of people are changing to the good, and there are also characters who remain bad and ugly. We don't get to see the bad and ugly until it is upon us, and it can be very disappointing when we find individuals can be very selfish, full of ego pride and fear and behaving very badly. I have learned to walk away from the judgemental old temperamental gits who have personal agendas which can be harmful to me. And what about other people?
For several years I have tried to encourage my landlord and their repair agents to fix various internal problems. And the evidence is now overwhelming, that repairs over the last few years have been causing damage in my abode and worse in my neighbours abode downstairs. A specialist plumber came yesterday and declared that the plumbing in my various water related, compartments was substandard and never installed correctly or to a standard expected today. I have been right all along and my landlord and their agents have blatantly misinformed me for their own reasons whatever they may be. I'm not going to teach them a lesson, not me personally, I'm going to let the professionals argue it out for themselves and put me back in my place as a client. As a client I need to report the truth to those with influence and gumption and common sense to take appropriate action. It is not my opinion which matters here; it is the opinions of those professionals to argue things out correctly and properly.
So what am I doing? I'm going to write a report and let go and that other people sort out their own particular responsibilities with regard to actions required in my abode and the abode of my neighbour. Step one: powerless over people places and things with regard to their power to do something. Today I cannot put it right on my own, I need to marshal and inform the right resources who have the capacity to do something. Step two: the madness of doing the same thing over and over again will not restore me to sanity, at the same time I can report the insanity of other people, and what they do and the things which have not worked. Step three: let go being right about the wrongs, because if I don't I will head into the madness of yesteryear.
Step ten: forgive everybody everything every day. People are doing the best they can with what they know. People every day are learning the limits of their capacities, or that their capacities are better utilised in different ways. Step ten, see my part in matters, and understand the limits of my influence are also influenced by the capacities of other people to do the right thing. Other people can be doing the wrong things in the wrong way because they fear trying to change or put things right when they have no power to do so. It is a tricky thing, to admit previous mistakes, to have been in denial and to have been obstructive. Forgive yes, as a consequence however we may say no to interacting with them ever again, either because they are incompetent or often because we just don't like them. We are not here to change anybody, we have the power to keep on changing ourselves, and we are all on an emotional and spiritual journey. And sometimes people keep living an emotional and spiritual nightmare one day at a time.
Having encountered quite difficult people recently, incompetent, obstructive, careless and stupid, it can be very difficult to feel any forgiveness? After the anger and the initial upset, I feel genuinely sad for their dilemmas which must really keep them on the approach to step one and never getting there. Working together is a far better outlook, and encouraging and influencing people to be open and honest and willing is where we can all make a difference in the life of others. The adage, "you can take a horse to water but you can't make it drink," and another one, "as stubborn as a mule." We do not have to keep on hitting our heads against a brick wall. We can always find another brick wall and another, or simply find a new path and live with those we choose and can love.
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