I used to be very critical of others – today I know that it was an indication of the poor self-image I had of myself. It made me feel better if I could find fault in others. I was constantly comparing myself to others. Now I have come to an understanding that I was comparing my insides to the outsides of others, to begin with. It was a poor basis for comparison – how I felt with how another looked. It’s like apples and oranges – it’s all fruit but apples differ greatly from oranges. I judged others by how they looked, dressed, or behaved, while I judged myself by how I felt.
Today I try to keep my criticisms to a minimum, but I cannot say that I have totally released that character defect. Taking the inventory of others is of no use to me, it does nothing towards my growth as a sober alcoholic. But it is something that I can “slip” into, on occasion. I try to bring my attention back to the topic at hand, and to focus on the lessons that are there to learn, instead of taking another’s inventory. Other members in the Program serve to teach me the lessons I need to live a life of sobriety, and I look to others for that reason. It is not my place or my purpose to judge others, another’s recovery is not my business. I can benefit more from learning to listen to others as they have much to teach me. My job is to remain open to the lessons available to me, without judgment or criticism. After all “those people” are just my “family,” my A.A. family, whom I trust, whom I love and whom I continue to learn from.