“Seldom did we look at character building as something desirable in itself, something we would strive for whether our instinctual needs were met or not. We never thought of making honesty, tolerance, and true love of man and God the daily basis of living.”

-AA Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, pg 72

I read this paragraph for the first time in my morning meeting and it really taught me some things about myself that I hadn’t really considered:

  1. I did not understand the concept of humility.
  2. I could never have achieved it while I was drinking.

It hearkened back to the “How it works” reading I’ve heard hundreds of time:

Those who do not recover are people who cannot or will not completely give themselves to this simple program, usually men and women who are constitutionally incapable of being honest with themselves. – AA Big Book pg 58

I have always been “constitutionally incapable of being honest” with myself. I think it is possible that many people, alcoholic or not, have this issue. It is something that I work on not just daily but sometimes on a minute by minute basis. Only through self-exploration have I realized this. So armed with this knowledge that it is somewhat of a relief for me to now understand that unless I address this deep character flaw I would never have been able to understand the concept of humility and therefore never be truly sober.

Breaking down that paragraph from the 12&12, I would say the the “recipe” for humility would be something like this:



  1. 1 cup Honesty
  2. 1 cup Tolerance
  3. 2 cups Love of your fellow man and higher power

Directions:(Make sure you use only fresh Honesty.) Mix together and stir every minute of every day. Enjoy!

It sounds so simple, because it is and I like simple…I also like pie.


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