I quit smoking. That's (only) one good thing WT has done for me, I believe.
Did Being a JW Make You a Better Person?
Grin - did being a witness make be better in some way? Well, it did make me poorer, but yeah, there were some positive aspects. But the financial cost (which must be affecting a lot of older people) is easily the most negative thing about my near 50 years of delusion.
I don't think I ever experienced the negative aspects of witness life that some here complain about. Of course, there were some witnesses that could easily rub you up the wrong way, but I think I realised that's the case in all walks of life.
On the positive side, as an inexperienced 17 y.o. that couldn't concentrate very well, I had to learn to study hard.
And, a bit on the shy side, I had to learn to approach people and start conversations. A handy ability! (Always hated door-to-door though - a rather useless activity). But I did learn how to work a room and meet people. Maybe I would've learned to do that in some other field, but the fact is that I learned it as a witness.
However, I think the most important 'character' forming thing I learnt was caring for people. That doesn't fit the way many people here see the witnesses, and that may be because Aussies tend to be bit more laid back than the national characteristics of some other nationalities.
Anyway, I always tried to care for the folk in the congregations associated with. Being an elder isn't always conducive to that. I considered standing down as an E once, and had a chat with Max Lloyd, then on the branch committee. He told me that some elders ran round with bits of paper in their hand arranging things and some were real servants always doing something for someone. In Max's view both were neccessary. I only wanted to be the 'serving' kind, although in my secular work I loved organising things and I think that I was a good manager. Maybe that was part of me before I became a witness, but even so I honed that skill as a witness.
I decided not to attend the meeting when my disfellowshipping was announced, but I was told that there were many tears, so maybe I was seen as caring - just sorry now, that part of that caring involved trying to help people continue serving the YHWH/JESUS duo and thus waste their lives like I was doing.
And none of those (supposedly useful) things can disguise the fact that I wasted my bloody life trying to be like Jeeeeezuuuuz and wasted the lives of all the people that I may have helped.
I had to unlearn some very bad habits I acquired as a JW. They teach you not to think critically. Well, let me tell you, the ability to think critically takes a lot of practice. None of which, I had as a JW.