A.A. Oldtimers…On the Tenth Step
A.A. Grapevine, August 1945 Vol. 2 No. 3
“Continued to take personal inventory and when
we were wrong promptly admitted it.”
THE admission of a wrong compares in its effects to a strong cauterizing agent.
When applied promptly it burns away the infection, but the treatment may be painful. How much mental pain an individual incurs by admitting a wrong depends not
so much on the degree of the wrong as on how seriously he is afflicted with vanity
and false pride. The more vain the person, the more reluctant he is ever to admit a
mistake. The more false pride he has, the more imperative it seems to him to perpetuate the illusion of his own perfection.
Since we all know that vanity and false pride are distortions of the mind, perhaps
the reason they are so common is the fact that, although we can spot them immediately in others, we have considerable difficulty in detecting them in ourselves.
Here the value of the personal inventory is self-evident. If it is honest and thorough,
it will leave no vanities and false pride unrevealed. It is the means by which we can
detect in ourselves the faults we note so readily in others and wh