Although we human beings cohabitate with each other, we are all different individuals, with different behaviours and beliefs.
To get along with each other, tolerance plays a large part in our lives.
To tolerate is to allow the existence of, a willingness to accept the behaviour and beliefs of others that are different to our own.
In our life, we learn to accept that something different has the right to exist, even if we do not agree with it. Tolerance does not cost us anything, when we understand that others have the right to believe however they wish.
John F. Kennedy summed it up in his quote;
‘Tolerance implies no lack of commitment to one’s own beliefs. Rather it condemns the oppression or persecution of others.’
Being a mother of three children tolerance played a big part in my life, there were certain behaviours that I did not tolerate. The children were taught that these things were not acceptable in our home.
While there were other things that are part of the children’s behaviour, – such as noise and rowdiness when playing – that I did tolerate.
If we are to live in this ever-changing world of ours, we must learn to tolerate things that we see, and this takes patience.
The first time that I went overseas, a workmate told me that I would see many things that I didn’t like nor agree with. He told me to keep an open mind; this allows us to be more tolerant to the ways and habits of others.
I have always hung around people of different ages; it is amazing how differently the younger and the older people think. I have learnt to respect both ways of thinking.
To respect is to hold in esteem, the admiration felt or shown for someone or something that we believe has good ideas and qualities. We respect someone that we show regard and consideration for.
When I was a child I was taught to respect my elders, at that age I thought that respect was to be polite and never answer back. As I got older I realised that respect was about liking the type of person, for the way they treated me and others around them as well.
Today I still respect my elders and others that I associate with, but I can now respect a person while tolerating some of the things that they do.
We can expect that our opinions and ideas can be tolerated, but we cannot demand that they are respected.
Respect is not something that one can demand from another, it has to be earned.
When asked the question, “Are tolerance and respect the same?”
In my opinion, the answer is no, but I do believe that they can go hand in hand. I believe that respect is the key to open the door to tolerance.
I believe that the quote by Robert G. Ingersoll, is the way to think and to live my life.
Give to every human being every right that you claim for yourself.