There is an interesting aspect regarding people in 12 step programs. It seems that many of them are astute observers. You would think that this would be a blessing. Indeed it is, but not in the way you might think. Often what they observe are the failings of others. This one’s a chatterbox, that one is lazy and so on and so forth. Upon deeper analysis we often find an interesting phenomena. Frequently, they are correct in their observation of shortcoming in another. When they look a little deeper at themselves they often find that they exhibit the same weakness of character. Yes it’s true that she is a chatter box, but so is the person who made the observation. It’s almost as if they are impelled to judge those who exhibit the same weaknesses that they possess. This really can be a wonderful tool for self growth. If we do start judging others, we can use this as a signal for self introspection. For example, when I judge someone as a gossip, I can immediately examine myself to see if I possess this characteristic. Hopefully we can be as a good an observer of ourselves as we are of others. As we work this aspect of our program we can also expect a reduction in judgements in general.
Personal Reflection: What shortcomings do I frequently spot in others?