How many times in our recovery have we misunderstood the behavior of another, immediately formed a judgment, applied a label, and neatly tucked the individual into a pigeonhole? Perhaps they had developed a different understanding of a Power greater than themselves than we had, so we concluded their beliefs were unspiritual. Or maybe we saw a couple having an argument; we assumed their relationship was sick, only to find out later that their marriage had prospered for many years.
Thoughtlessly tossing our fellows into categories saves us the effort of finding out anything about them. Every time we judge the behavior of another, we cease to see them as potential friends and fellow travelers on the road to recovery.
If we happened to ask those we are judging if they appreciate being stereotyped, we would receive a resounding "no" in response. Would we feel slighted if this were done to us? Yes, indeed. Our best qualities are what we want others to notice. In the same way, our fellow recovering addicts want to be well thought of. Our program of recovery asks us to look positively at life. The more we concentrate on the positive qualities in others, the more we'll notice them in ourselves.