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The importance of tolerance: ‘Live and let live’

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Tolerance is the key to maintaining social relations of harmony and peace while preserving the differences in people, culture, lifestyle and religion. Tolerance shows strength of character, wisdom and maturity. Showing tolerance implies no disapproval and no recognition. Tolerance is “Live and let live.”In today’s world, we must be tolerant. Tolerance is an important feature that a lot of people do not have, but need. There are three key words and concepts that I believe are vital in developing tolerance. These are Respect, Patience and Courage.{{more}}

Respect: Why is respect important is a simple but significant question which must be answered if someone does not have a clear viewpoint about it. But first it is important to know that what respect actually is. Respect is a basic moral value or need which makes us aware that we are human beings not wild animals. So we should respect others and should be respected by others to prove our humane identity among all other creatures present on this earth. The awareness of respect must be instilled in every human being from his childhood; respecting your parents, teachers and elders is the main step towards teaching the meaning and importance of respect in our life.

Respecting others is a silent way to express our feeling for them. It’s an unspoken way of communication which builds unshaken and strong relations between people respecting each other. When a person shows respect for someone, then it means that the person has some value for him. His advices and suggestions are important for him. If you want respect, you have to show respect, even if you feel disrespected, you can be a great man, and to be respectful and this is where patience comes in.

Patience: Patience doesn’t mean passivity or resignation, but power. It’s an emotionally freeing practice of waiting, watching, and knowing when to act. I want to give patience a twenty-first-century makeover so you’ll appreciate its worth. Patience has gotten a bad rap for the wrong reasons. To many people, when you say, “Have patience,” it feels unreasonable and inhibiting, an unfair stalling of aspirations…the importance of patience should be realized by every individual.

Patience shapes your talents and inborn abilities into real achievements; Helps you to be empathetic; building empathy towards others is very important if you want to live a hassle free life. If you get irritated by even a crying baby or a loud child playing in front of you, you must think about developing your patience. Patience helps you build empathy towards others. Patience helps us accept other people as they way they are and make us a bit tolerant. Patience helps you to acquire a positive attitude; if things do not happen the way you want and you become unhappy easily, you must learn to be patient. You need to see things and situations in a positive light to make your life a happier. And to get that positivity, you need to be patient. For you find any life situation challenging enough that you find it difficult to bear, try to re frame that situation and try to see its positive side. And finally, patience makes you healthier…Anger and stress are two things that are enough to ruin a person’s health. And patience is the antidote to both these illnesses. Being patient, you can overcome any challenging situation with more flexibility and in a better way. Being stress free and happy helps you stay you healthier.

Courage: Courage is another quality that we need in life. Having the courage to say “no” to bad things? When peer pressure presents itself, you should still be strong enough to say “no,” that’s when courage is really imperative. Courage can also mean stepping into a bad situation, and standing up for those less able. One of the greatest attributes of tolerance is, when you can take more, than you can put out. When people put it on you, and you just take it without being vengeful or vindictive, it will make you a valuable asset to the community. COURAGE – THE MOST IMPORTANT QUALITY YOU NEED FOR A SUCCESSFUL LIFE…You cannot enjoy life at all – in the absence of courage.

We will not always agree on principles, decisions, opinions, religious beliefs, political choices BUT always remember that being tolerant does not mean that we share another one’s belief. It means acknowledging another one’s right to believe and obey his/her own conscience.

“If we could look into each other’s hearts, and understand the unique challenges each of us faces, I think we would treat each other much more gently, with more love, patience, tolerance, and care.” Marvin J. Ashton.

Dr Miller is Health Psychologist at the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital.