Many of the people around my age that I meet seem to have gotten through most of their shit; it's one of the clear advantages of getting older. That said, I find myself regularly reflecting on what these same people were like when they were twenty or thirty. How about you? How often do you try to envision the younger versions of your newer friends?
Step four of the Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) code is to "make a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves". The friends I have that are in AA have often shared their list of defects from this inventory with me. Almost without exception, I have difficulty reconciling the earlier picture they describe with my current experience of them. I suspect many of you who know folks who have been in recovery for a long time can relate to this disconnect.
But then, sometimes while still struggling with that disconnect, I turn to reflect on my non-AA friends. Did any of them ever do an inventory of any kind? If yes, what did they uncover? What work did they do to lessen the impact of their defects and become the person I now experience? And I wonder - How does anyone evolve unless they do some kind of inventory?
So, if many of the people around my age that I meet seem to have gotten through most of their shit, what were they like before the inventory? Absent an inventory, does the passage of time alone ensure people will evolve? Am I paying close enough attention?