Tolerance – people, more than ever today, want tolerance, but they want it for what they believe, not what others believe. They seem to want to get tolerance, ...but they have no desire to give any tolerance. Tolerance is a two-way street (I’ve said it before, but it’s worth repeating). We will never all be the same, we will never all think the same and we need to understand what that really means. Compromise and learning to live with our differences, it’s not really that hard. What Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “We must learn to live together as brothers, or perish together as fools” was the truth. And he was talking about the human race, but were we listening?
I have lived my life trying to not offend anyone, seriously I have and in years past, it seemed to be much easier to accomplish. Today, it seems impossible to go a day without offending at least one person. And even if by chance, I offend no one, it’s impossible to not witness, on a daily basis, someone being offended by another’s opinion. Why? Maybe we could blame it on social media and how totally connected we are in every moment of our life. Perhaps we weren’t any more tolerant in years gone by, perhaps we just didn’t see it as frequently, thus we weren’t as bothered by other’s opinions.
Ask yourself, do you really try to see the other person’s point of view before you get offended. Ask yourself, what could possibly make them think that way. Try to understand that we are all standing and looking at every issue with different biases (yes, even you) and that while someone may not agree with how you see it, keep in mind that you also don’t agree with how they see it. You want tolerance from them for your opinions, causes and beliefs, but do you give them the same tolerance for theirs? If not, why not?
Just because someone has an opinion, that does not match with your opinion, it does not mean they are wrong and you are right. Of course, it does not mean that they are right and you are wrong, either. It just means we all think differently and every person (in their opinion) has valid reasons for thinking what they do (or they wouldn’t think it!).
Just maybe, there are times we need to meet in the middle, stop standing in our separate corners yelling and screaming at the opposition, as if they were our enemy. There is an old saying, goes way, way back, “You catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar”. Well, it is still true today. If what you intend to accomplish, is having someone see your side, yelling and cursing at them just isn’t going to do it! KJ @ KJ-isms (2017)