Saturday, July 1, 2023

Understanding Tolerance

 Tolerance encompasses various aspects of human behavior related to society.   The ability to accept and respect the beliefs, opinions, practices or behaviors from others that are different from our own even though we may disagree or find them challenging is tolerance.  In today's multicultural and diverse world with it's mixed bag of dualism both spiritually, sexually, and politically a practice of tolerance in our everyday lives helps us bring about a peaceful coexistence in our pluralistic societies and may help us better understand each other.  

If I were going to teach a course on tolerance here are some of the key points I'd try to touch on:

1. Respect for differences: Tolerance involves the diversity that exists among individuals and groups.  It means understanding the differences in backgrounds, cultures, groups religious values and perspectives and respecting their right to hold and express those differences.

2. Open-Mindedness:  Tolerance requires an open mind and willingness to listen without immediately dismissing other's viewpoints  or opinions.  It involves being receptive to new ideas, perspectives, and experiences even though they might challenge your own. 

3. Being Non-Judgmental: Tolerance involves  refraining from making harsh judgements or stereotypes about individuals based on their differences.  It involves avoiding prejudice, discrimination, or bias and recognizing the inherent worth and dignity of every person. 

4. Freedom of Expression: Allowing others to express their ideas, thoughts and beliefs freely as long as it does not promote hate speak, incite violence, or hurt others. 

5. Peaceful Coexistence:  By accepting and respecting the differences in others, conflicts can be minimized, and a climate of harmony, understanding, and cooperation can be promoted.

6. Education and Awareness:  Education is the key to raising awareness and the diversity of it's benefits. Teaching children at an early age can help to build tolerance by exposing children to different cultures, ideas, religions, and perspectives and bring future societies together building a more tolerant future.

It's important to note that tolerance does not imply agreement or endorsement of all beliefs or behaviors, it simply means recognizing the right of others to hold and express their own views even if we may disagree with them.  Tolerance is a fundamental value that contributes to the building of inclusive and compassionate societies, fostering respect, empathy, and peaceful coexistence. 

Peace and Balance,



  1. Good post. It would alleviate a lot of the problems in this country if everyone behaved this way toward their opponents (as opposed to just expecting their opponents to behave this way toward them).

    Allowing others to express their ideas, thoughts and beliefs freely as long as it does not promote hate speak

    Even there, one needs to be a bit cautious. People have gotten adept at re-defining any opinion they don't like as "hate speech". Look how quick those on the right are to denounce any left-wing view as Marxist or communist, and those on the left to declare any right-wing view fascist or racist. Europe, since it doesn't have the First Amendment, does have laws against hate speech, and in practice they're just used to harass people who tell the truth about Islam or transgenderism. We're better off with the broadest possible freedom of speech, even if it means tolerance for expressing views most people consider downright disgusting.

    1. Fortunately there is a legal definition to "Hate Speech" It is aligned with the bullying laws of The United States. In this way, at least as the courts are concerned, there is a strong definition. There is no need to tolerate Evil. There is also no need to attack Evil. Eventually Evil implodes upon itself. Tolerance is a practiced art as hard to master as 108 technique form. There are always room for improvements. Thanks for replying.

  2. This has bothered me for a while. While I agree with your goal I think the word "tolerance" is inappropriate.

    ie: I tolerate having my bones reset. I "tolerate" getting a root canal. I hated the painful events and will seek to avoid them happening in the future but I didn't cry out in pain or call too much attention to my suffering. I tolerated it.

    Tolerate is what you do when you lack any way of avoiding a situation in the short term. Tolerance leads to avoidance, segregation, apartheid , and discrimination as the person seeks ways to avoid the unpleasantness.

    A better word would be acceptance. I do not merely tolerate your presence. Gritting my teeth until you leave and seeking some way to remove you without being blamed for it. Instead I simply accept that you are a human being and you have every right to be here. I accept the situation and feel no need to change or avoid it in the future.

    Tolerance is the DMZ between North and South Korea. Neither side is entirely happy about it and, there is still, technically, a war. Acceptance is more like the border between North and South Carolina. They are still separate, but , for the most part, equal and friendly. Neither side desires to eliminate the other.

    1. Perhaps your right, However Tolerance: the ability or willingness to tolerate something, in particular the existence of opinions or behavior that one does not necessarily agree with. This is the common definition and it fits the article. We must accept that we are all in-tolerant at times and the versa visa. I don't think politics fits my definition very well however, but there is always hope. Tolerance and Acceptance kind of fit hand in hand. I would be lying if I said I was tolerant of everything I disagree with, but that a humanistic thing I think. Now you've got me thinking those big thoughts. 80)