Love and Tolerance – Grapevine Article November 2014 By Justin P

The first person who asked me to sponsor him in the program was a gay man. I had reservations about doing this, as I am not gay, and reacted with fear and ignorance. I called my sponsor to get his opinion on the right thing to do. Being the good sponsor that he is, he referred me to Traditions One, Three, Five, and especially Ten. I was reminded that I was to have no opinion on outside issues while acting in my capacity as an AA member.

I continued to work with this man, and thank God I did. I had the privilege of hearing this man’s Fifth Step, and thus came to a greater level of understanding. Prior to this occasion, in my own Fifth Step, I’d discovered that I had a resentment against homosexuality. During my amends, I prayed for understanding and to have this resentment removed. It wasn’t until I was able to work with this man that this was accomplished.

“Love and tolerance of others is our code” (Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 84). My Higher Power put this person in my life to teach me this wonderful concept and to give me the opportunity to make a living amends.

I’ve been sober the past six years and have done Twelfth Step work with a wide variety of people from many backgrounds. I know today that we are all truly perfect children of a loving God, however we choose to define him.

Personal sobriety is an important pursuit in AA, but no less so than the pursuit of our collective well-being. I’m glad I have had a sponsor who gives as much emphasis to the Traditions as to the personal program of recovery.

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