Sunday, August 9, 2009
Tolerance makes us strong
When we see an unacceptable behaviour, we typically begin to get hot under the collar. We lose our patience and begin to fume. Depending on the level of irritation and the situation, we may get provoked to speak out our minds and even take other forms of action. Taking the initiative to make a change is good. It indicates courage and a spirit of bravado. I am reminded of many revolutionary freedom movements which were successful due to this.
However, intolerance is good only in certain situations. If this becomes our second nature, it could lead serious consequences and breakup of relationships. I have seen people priding themselves in being intolerant. They make statements like “I just can’t tolerate this” or “I have tolerated this for too long”. There are many situations where tolerance is a virtue and makes us stronger.
The key requirements for tolerance are patience, maturity and a broad mind. Instead of being reactive, if we become “reflective”, it will help us see things with a wider perspective. Viewed with a long term perspective, small irritants seem insignificant. We learn to take things lightly and overlook them. In children, we see high levels of tolerance as they do not have high expectations and they have the knack of acceptance.
With tolerance, we gain control over ourselves. People who have control over themselves are strong indeed and have the magnetism to be able to control others. When we are tolerant, people get a sense of comfort dealing with us. Our relationship network expands and so does our ability to influence others.
“Until you have learned to be tolerant with those who do not always agree with you, you will be neither successful nor happy” - Napoleon Hill
"The highest result of education is tolerance." - Helen Keller
“He that can't endure the bad will not live to see the good.” Yiddish Proverb
“In the practice of tolerance, one’s enemy is one’s best teacher” - Anonymous