The logic of tolerance

Life can be really hard. For a lot people this is true most of the time and it is a struggle just keeping your own act together in the day to day struggles.

It is also true for a lot of people, that when life is hard, we tend to pick on others. It is not a nice trait, but surely very human. We become distrustful, bitter and even resentful.

Picking on others can give a little relief. The simple act of condescendence gives you that quick fix and you have everything from a few minutes to even hours of feeling on top. You know,  “is it really necessary to collect disability when you have lost your toes to diabetes? I would never degrade myself like that!” or: “maybe her son is not really that disabled, but it pays out in governmental help – doesn’t it” or “things were much better before we had so many immigrants here, now they bleed the country dry. It is so unfair”.

They are not pretty thoughts but very human. Not new thoughts either, history has proven them present for thousands of years if various shapes and sizes. Everybody has thoughts like that except maybe Mother Theresa. I am pretty sure she was able to rise above it.

So if it is human behaviour, the easy answer would be to accept it. After all if we haven’t changed in thousands of years, why should we be able to now.

I think we can change. Mainly because it is irrational behaviour. It does not make sense  and it does not solve problems. On the contrary it can create a massive amount of problems if left unchecked. I think we can change because we are smarter and more enlightened than ever.

Mainly I think we can and will turn to tolerance because it is logical. It makes complete sense to be kind and overbearing instead of bitter and resentful if you take the time to review the consequences of these behaviours.

To break it down:

  • Do I know what it is like to have your body degrade because of the side effects of diabetes?
  • Do I wish to take over the care of a handicapped child and take on everything that follows in the wake of that?
  • Do I really want to be the one joining the army and defending my country in a global war, when condescendence has turned to racism?

Unless you can answer yes to those questions, the bias remarks make no sense. Unless you are willing to take responsibility for what you put out there, it is illogical to keep up that behavior. And very few people are.

So why the crude remarks? Why the hatred? Why the suspicion? Why keep up an illogical behavior when it should be so easy to choose the logical?

I think we have become very self centered as human beings. Not so much that we cannot be charitable or help others, but we weigh everything in accordance to our own self. There is very little belief in a higher deity and as such we are relying on ourselves to find the answers and seek the truths. So where generations before waged war in the name of their God, we now do the same in our own name.

The first step must be enlightenment. When you become aware and informed, most fears will be reduced. Next step must be forgiving yourself for being human. Beating yourself up will only leave to beating up others too. And last but not least applying logic.

Most people respond well to logic. Much better than to fate or inevitability. Seeing the logic of being tolerant will inspire to move in that direction. At the same time it gives you the option to change and the ability to take responsibility without feeling guilty.

If we do not change, we know how it ends. And we know how hard it will be to make amends afterwards.

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About Astrid Lequime

Founder of the Noah Lequime Foundation. Our goal is to brighten the lives of underprivileged special needs children around the world. Social worker, philanthropist and mother of three children. Two are special needs children.
This entry was posted in Empathy, Social work, Tolerance and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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