This world has become a world with zero tolerance. Our lack of tolerance with others opinions and beliefs has created this chaotic and maddening separation between human beings. The result of such separation? sadness, suffering, despair, hatred and death. A world without tolerance is a world without peace, and a world without peace is a threat to our very existence.
What has made us think that our beliefs are better than others? What has made us think that we are the bearers of absolute truth? What has made us think that we can condemn others for thinking in a different way than us? How is it possible that we commit horrendous acts all in the name of our beliefs as a way of excusing ourselves?
The problem is that we all believe that we have the ultimate truth about something, we believe that our thoughts and beliefs are the right ones, and that the other ones are wrong, what has given us the impunity to act as we do, to condemn and punish others for the only motive of thinking different from us. This has caused not only the separation between nations, but between people all around the world. Families, friendships, relationships of all kind have been destroyed by the lack of tolerance of their own occupants.
“What is tolerance? It is the consequence of humanity. We are all formed of frailty and error; let us pardon reciprocally each other’s folly – that is the first law of nature.” – Voltaire
We all consider ourselves tolerant and we ask others for tolerance, but the truth is we are all tolerant as long as the other person agrees with our opinions and beliefs, but tolerance is nothing more and nothing less than understanding others point of view. Tolerance does not involve having to agree with someone else’s opinion or having to share the same belief but involves the understanding of others perceptions about life and different matters.
Freedom is having the opportunity to believe in something, having our own personal opinion about a certain thing without being influenced or forced to do it. There is a huge diversity of thought, and that is what makes this world so interesting and beautiful, otherwise freedom would not exist, and we would become slaves of a tyrannical regime, and as our past has taught us, that is not a happy story.
“Tolerance implies no lack of commitment to one’s own beliefs. Rather it condemns the oppression or persecution of others.” – John F. Kennedy
Sports, religion, politics, money, and other matters are a prove that we lack tolerance. We fight, we hate and we kill each other only because someone else doesn’t agree with our beliefs or doesn’t have the same opinion as us. The question is: Why do we want others to agree with us when we do no not want to agree with them? Because “My football team is much better than yours” “My God is much more great and powerful than yours” “My country is better and far richer than yours” “The political party I follow is better than the one you follow” “I am intelligent and you are an ignorant!” “I know more than you do” and so on.
Do you recognize those phrases? I do. I have said them and I’ve heard them from many people. We all believe we have the truth, and we believe that the other is wrong, and we want them to change their beliefs to satisfy our ego. The truth is this does not construct but destroys, and there is no more ignorance than thinking we are the special ones, the lucky owners of absolute truth about life. I mean, it is okay to discuss an idea, what is not okay is to not understand and comprehend that we all not think in the same way, and basically that is the idea of life: To be as free to think and believe what we want without needing the approval of someone else.
Everyone has different perspective about life, different points of view, and so we need to understand that in order to avoid unnecessary suffering, hate and despair, pointless fights and war, to protect ourselves, our world, and our whole existence. Let’s be more tolerant with others opinions and beliefs, and live in peace!