We live in a world where the boundaries of a country or a particular culture are no longer a barrier. Globalization has become a way of life. Billions of people are employed in a different country from their Nationality. Different products, technologies, information, all can reach you in any part of world within a short time today. Being in this global village, it is very much important for us cultivate a tolerant behavior towards each other in order to live in harmony. We come across all kinds of people in our daily life, people with different backgrounds, cultures and religions. Practicing tolerant behavior towards each other helps to attain and maintain peace in any given society.
So what is Tolerance?
Tolerance is when you have the heart to accept another person’s beliefs or opinions, even though you may not approve of them. You may choose to disagree with his way of life but in a respectful manner. And if he is in no way convincible or the other person could not convince you to change your opinion, you leave the matter to be sorted out in due course, without causing any damage to the relationship as such. Tolerance means you respectfully disagree to the other person, but keep an open mind to his right of opinion as well.Practicing tolerance should not make you accepting a wrong when you see one. While you all in for tolerance,non-tolerance is also a necessity when you see a wrong doing, like a particular group of people being oppressed due to their origins or beliefs. Non-tolerance is when you cannot tolerate something inhumane while Intolerance is when you can’t accept another one’s opinions just because you don’t agree with it or because you think yours is better. Tolerance comes betweenintolerance and non-tolerance.
Love – a kind of tolerance.
If you think about it, love is also a kind of tolerance. To love you need to accept the other person as he/she is, with all their good qualities and bad. It doesn’t matter whether the other person is not as able as you, or as successful as others, but you still care about them, still keep them close to your heart. So you are tolerating them and including them in your life even though you may not like all their habits. You might find some quality of theirs so endearing that you are willing to overlook all other things about them. Like they say – Love is not blind, Love sees but doesn’t mind.
Benefits of Tolerance
Tolerance makes life easy to live. Being able to accept someone just as they are, can bring love and harmony among people. Where there is harmony there will be peace, as there will be less conflicts. Thus tolerance makes peace possible. Even if there is a difference in opinion, tolerance helps to have a healthy argument as you are willing to consider the other persons opinion also, rather than being adamant on insisting yours is the only right one. Thus tolerance in turn, welcomes and accepts criticism positively. And so it promotes respectful behavior among people. Tolerance can have a positive effect on one’s own self as it makes one see things on a different angle and evaluate their own perspective and it could lead to learning something new. Overall, tolerance helps to upkeep humanity.
Encouraging children to be tolerant
In this globalized world it’s most important that a child has to learn tolerance as they come into face with the diversity of human race at very early stage. We always hear children complain about being bullied in school. What makes them a target of it could be the way they look, or talk or walk or anything which the other child/children think find uncommon. They usually don’t care about the feeling of the one at the receiving end.And it could lead to unpleasant consequences. So it’s very important that we teach children that they cannot decide that another child is inferior to them or they should not to be friends with him, just because he doesn’t fit with what their idea of being normal is. They need to be taught that the color of hair or the accent one has does not determine the character of the person. That everyone is unique in some way and that you need to include the seemingly different one also in your life to make it interesting and beautiful. They should be encouraged to have an open mind towards different cultures, to understand and learn from them, to respect them, while being proud of their own heritage and values. The easiest way to make them understand and practice tolerance is to lead by being an example yourself.
Start practicing it now. Listen to others with an open mind. Don’t be prejudiced based on their appearances or lineage. Try and understand other’s point of view. If you are not clear, ask questions as to why they have a different opinion. In the end, you might agree or if not you can respectfully disagree.