More Than They Deserve

Andy Crooks writing as Andy C
2 min readFeb 22, 2024

I like judging and condemning.

I must like judging and condemning; I do it all the time. I size up a situation and instantly condemn the person; it’s an unconscious reaction. I am powerless over the habit, and it makes my life unmanageable. It is a defect. That is not healthy.

I asked my Higher Power to remove it. But that did not work. The habit did not go away. Then, I learned to turn that defect into an advantage. I used the energy of the defect like a judo master.

It started when I heard a share at an AA meeting, “If someone irritates me, I try to give them more than they deserve.”

“Well,” I thought, “that is worth considering.”

It worked. The next day, over lunch, an acquaintance disagreed with me. Though he needed correction, I allowed him to keep his opinions. It was more than he deserved. And someone cut me off in traffic. I didn’t chase them down and beat them with a tire iron, which was what they deserved. Someone strolled across a crosswalk in front of my car, violating the ‘Don’t Walk’ signal. I didn’t run them over; my restraint was more than they deserved.

When I judged and condemned someone, I would think, How can I give them more than they deserve?

In these and other situations, I granted them dispensation and allowed them to continue their impoverished lives. Unconsciously, I accepted I was in a position of authority and had a duty to judge. Then, consciously, I gave them more than they deserved.

I learned a new habit. When people make me angry, I give them more than they deserve. More of everything: time, consideration, politeness, and space for their opinions.

It felt like judo. In judo, you use your opponent’s attacking momentum to throw him over. You give your attacker more than he expected or wanted.

The unconscious habit did not go away; I was still judging and condemning, but I consciously gave them more than they deserved.

This habit grew into a generalized sense of love — an impartial sense of goodwill. By giving people more than they deserved, I was dissolving the defect. Thank you, Higher Power.



Andy Crooks writing as Andy C

For Andy C, not drinking was the first spiritual awakening. He’s been blessed with subsequent spiritual awakenings as the results of the 12 steps.