hope of preserving what
is best, lies in the practice of an
immense charity, a wide tolerance,
a sincere respect for opinions
that are not ours.
Philip Gilbert Hamerton
there are many negative ways of looking at tolerance (see
the tolerance page for some examples), I think that
tolerance of other people's ideas and opinions is one of the
most important keys to building a better world and making
our lives more positive. When we lack tolerance, we're
focused on wanting things to be our way--it's a form of
trying to control life, trying to have things our way, which
is a sure strategy for frustration and anger and all those
other nice feelings.
think of things in certain ways, and my perspectives are a
result of all that I've learned my entire life long.
But someone else has had other parents, other friends, other
teachers, and other life experiences--it would be rather
silly of me to think that everyone else is going to agree
with me about so many things about life. Politics,
religion, sexuality, education, work--there are so many
things that we can disagree upon that it's important that I
allow other people to have their views and not judge them
harshly and unfairly simply for disagreeing with me, or for
having different skin color or for believing in different
religious tenets than I. It doesn't hurt me a bit for
someone else to be different than I am, so there's no need
for me not to be tolerant of others.
tolerance allows me to learn and grow a great deal, and it
puts me in the position of being someone who appreciates and
respects the best qualities of others--whether I
"agree" with them or not. When we allow for
differences, we actually learn to compromise and work with
others, rather than needing everything to be done our way,
and when we do this, we contribute to a world that is much
more diverse and in which more people feel loved and
respected, which is always a good thing.