A World of Tolerance
Tolerance Gone Wrong
Consider how Webster defines tolerance and tolerant:
: willingness to accept feelings, habits, or beliefs that are different from your ownTOLERANT
: willing to accept feelings, habits, or beliefs that are different from your own
: able to allow or accept something that is harmful, unpleasant, etc.
- Do I accept behavior which I believe will hurt someone?
- Do I accept actions which I believe are dangerous for society?
- Should I accept dishonesty or be intolerant of it?
- Should I accept destructive patterns or be intolerant of them?
- Should you accept me being a jerk?
I don’t think the problem with society is a lack of tolerance (whether or enduring or accepting). I believe the problem is a lack of love for those we disagree with.
Love & Grace > Tolerance
a : to allow to be or to be done without prohibition, hindrance, or contradiction
b : to put up with <learn to tolerate one another>
As a society, we seem to have lost the ability to show love and grace to people we disagree with. A simple look at politics shows just how little grace we tend to offer those we disagree with and how generous our grace is with those who agree with us. Whether democrat or republican, people seem to have an incredible ability to forgive questionable behavior when someone agrees with their policies, but demonstrate extreme skepticism of every action of those with whom they disagree.
Likewise, you can look at the language we use to describe those whom we disagree with. Over the last few years, anyone who has voiced support of traditional marriage has been labeled a “hate-filled,” “intolerant” “bigot.” This label ignores the person’s actions or attitudes, and it labels them based purely on their views on marriage. If someone is viewed as “intolerant,” it is acceptable to be intolerant of them.
This way of viewing others is void of love. There’s something more difficult than merely “accepting” or “tolerating” someone or their behavior; You can love someone while disagreeing with them.
Tolerance doesn’t require love, tolerance means I can just leave you alone. Love requires action.
- …who should do things
- …what they should do
- …when they should do things
- …where they should do things
- …how they should do things
- I love you enough to try to stop you from hurting yourself.
- I love you enough to risk the relationship that I might save you.