February 21st's CTC reading starts with these provocative words: "Thanks to our twelve-step traditions, I am able to have a sponsor whose politics are abhorrent to me."
Indeed, I find it no small miracle that I have been helped by someone with whom I would otherwise be a polar opposite to. As an example my first Sponsor was an atheist. Had I put religious agreement first, I would have missed out on an extraordinarily rich and beneficial relationship. Even as she has moved on to leave our 12 steps far behind, I remain grateful for the foundation she helped me to create.
Witnessing the recovery of people very different from me has helped me to set my emotional priorities. Today I see serenity, courage and wisdom as much more important than a person's political or religious views.
The Tenth tradition has made this miracle possible: "Our group has no opinion on outside issues, hench our name ought never be drawn into public controversy."
Our group's single purpose is to support one another as we recover from the effects of emotional injury. "At a personal level, this Tradition allows me to establish a valuable relationship with a person, who under less supportive conditions, I might have been hard-pressed to treat with civility." Outside issues need no longer distance me from my primary spiritual goal.
Today I understand the true meaning of Tolerance. I've learned to be more tolerant of other's views as I learn to take what I like and leave the rest. I've learned to stay open and not judge others by their differences: I never know where I might find help.
We come in many different shapes and sizes, and we need to support each other and our differences. Our beauty is in our differences. Carre Otis