Thoughts on Tolerance

“I think the word tolerance is weak. I prefer the word appreciation, especially if we are talking about dealing with people of different cultural values or religious beliefs. Appreciation implies that I see the good in another person’s choice. Tolerance falls short. It means accepting differences but there is still wiggle room to think my way is better. Tolerance compels me to hold my tongue when I disagree and to afford someone a level of respect. Appreciation, on the other hand, says, ‘I see that you are finding peace and serenity in the path you have chosen and that makes me happy for you.'”

“Tolerance of one’s self is important. When a person is not proud of his behavior, tolerance can mean accepting one’s self, warts and all. The opposite is expecting perfection. We need to have a sense of humor about ourselves. If we can be tolerant of our shortcoming, it is easier to be tolerant of others.”

“When I think of tolerance, I think of the word patience. Patience allows room for growth and change in others and in myself. I am imperfect but I can expect to get better as I mature. When I am patient with others, I find myself less judgmental, less irritated when people have different ideas or different lifestyles.”

“The intolerance I have for another person’s choices, whether life-style or religion, might be based on my awareness that their choice might be harmful. I may or may not say something, but I will always pray for them. It has happened that what needed changing is not their choice but my attitude. Then I am glad I didn’t act on my judgment.”

“I think gratitude is important. It is deeper than tolerance. I can be grateful for the path another has chosen because of what it has done for them. And empathy, too. Sometimes people make bad decisions and find themselves on a path that is not working for them. I try to remember that I might have done that too.”

“Tolerance can make life in society go more smoothly, but it should be more than simply keeping hatred in one’s heart contained. Eventually hatred unchecked leaks out or erupts. We see this kind of eruption on the news every day. Tolerance that comes from the heart is much better.”

“I heard it said that hatred corrodes any container that carries it. In other words, the person who hates is damaged as much as the one they hate. It is better to root out the hatred. Tolerance can be kind of a temporary measure until the hatred is rooted out.”

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3 Responses to Thoughts on Tolerance

  1. Karrie says:

    Loved ever word!!

  2. Rita Culshaw says:

    Amen on that!

  3. Can’t argue with a thing you say here. Thanks for writing!

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