Posted in Sharing

Acceptance vs Tolerance

In AA we are taught, acceptance is the key
That opens up the door, to our sobriety
Accept that we have lost control, not sure if we can mend
But who wants to admit the fact, we fight it to the end?

As we approach our bottom, still holding on to hope
Tomorrow will be different, no more booze, no pills no dope
Then tomorrow comes, nothing has changed, it’s still the same old script
We’re high again, we know despair, it’s got us in its grip

Some of us hard drinkers had a moment when we knew
The gig was up, our cupboard bare, we were the lucky few
Who found the rooms with folks like us, to show what we could be?
If we would just accept this fact, a chance to set us free

Accept we did, we could not keep pretending any more
All hope was gone, we cried out for the life we had before
We made a firm commitment to regain what we had lost
From years of alcohol abuse, ‘twas time to pay the cost

But there were times at meeting when we struggled to accept
What other members had to say, we wanted to protest
Yet, we knew the meeting’s not the place to voice our disapproval
Or try to see them chastised or suggesting their removal

Tolerance for others does not have to mean acceptance
We have the right to disagree, no need for acquiescence
When offended by their actions or the thing they chose to share
Call them aside at meetings end and get your feelings aired

A member called another out for what was on his shirt
A slogan that he did not like, his feelings to exert
A hush descended on the room, most members were unsure
If they should tell this fellow he was acting like a boor

At meetings end a member did approach this other speaker
Explained the meetings not the place to vent like he’s a preacher
Suggested that when he’s upset by someone’s words or actions
Once the meetings done there’s time to convey your reaction

That member in the corner adds his atheistic views
And most the others members feel his thinking is confused
But because he’s staying sober and he keeps on coming back
We tolerate his opinion, just not accept it as a fact

We’re not required to accept all other members say
Yet, we need to practice tolerance, keep our animus at bay
After all we’re only human, with our assets and our flaws
And when someone irritates us, that’s the time to take a pause

Larry R.