One of the great results of taking the first nine steps is our increased desire to care for our relationships with other people, today. We don’t want to let our wrongs, big or little, pile up again, and so we take care of them daily. Step 10 is about daily accountability. It says, “Continue to take personal inventory and when you are wrong promptly admit it.”
The challenge to be accountable for our actions toward others, in twenty-four hour increments, affects more than our taking stock and taking action every evening. Our desire is to do some damage control along the way. The need to clean things up at the end of the day tends to make us more careful as we live the day. It actually makes a positive difference in every interaction we have along the way.
We find ourselves striving to keep our slate clean or to clean it as we go; seeking to understand as well as to be understood; striving to be honest and kind at the same time. We find ourselves wanting to contribute to the peace of this world, not wanting to make more messes or make messes worse.
This week I was reminded of one other tendency that seems to reduce the number of necessary daily amends. Sunday during our church service I sat next to my grandson, Jack. He was having a rather difficult time lasting through the meetings. His happiest moments were during the singing of the hymns. He brightened up, stopped squirming and fussing, and watched the chorister. She waved in time and he waved to her. My daughter whispered in my ear, “He thinks she’s being friendly and waving to him. He loves it and spends the whole song waving back.”
Immediately I recognized this scene as the illustration of another tendency we adopt after taking the first nine steps. Watching Jack find great joy in assuming he was being waved at reminded me that in anticipation of taking Step 10 we find ourselves simply wanting to assume the best about other people
In doing so we run the risk of looking as naive as my baby grandson, who thinks the Sacrament Meeting chorister is the friendliest person in the ward. Who knows, maybe she is! Assuming the best is rarely a liability and it keeps our list of daily amends on the short side. Just like Jack, I think I’m going to wave back!
By Nannette W.
Posted Tuesday, March 3, 2009
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