Why Do We Tolerate Intolerance

It is said that the only thing that we should be intolerant of is intolerance.

Yet to be tolerant of intolerance can create the most destructive of emotions and actions. If a ‘Hitler’ were to emerge again today, someone who inspired others to kill another six million people in cold blood, would it be ok to tolerate this behaviour or should we go to war to challenge this? For me the answer is an undoubted ‘yes’. I don’t want to go to war and I think that killing, in all forms is wrong. But, yes, I would go and fight to protect the freedom of all.

One problem!
How do I know that I am right?

One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter

In all cases of tolerance and intolerance there is the issue of which side are you on? If both sides believe that they are right, if both believe that God is on their side, they cannot both be right. So, how do we know what is the right thing to do, what should we be tolerant of?

For me, most cases of tolerance and intolerance are not cognitive they are emotional. It probably comes down to what do you feel? When you listen to your inner voice, to your intuition, you are probably as close as anyone can get to making sense of what is right and wrong and what is tolerable.

My inner voice tells me that all behaviours that harm other beings in any way are intolerable. This includes all forms of bullying, abuse, deprivation, manipulation, exploitation, and so on. In my world this means that the behaviour of many professionals from politicians, lawyers, estate agents, car salesmen and, most managers are unacceptable and intolerable. As a vegetarian I would include the killing of animals and the eating of meat, but this is just my own point of view.

Tolerance is always a bias. Perhaps it is working for the best results for the majority that is as good as we can get. Perhaps at an individual level, our responsibility is to question what we feel, what we do, why we thing what we think? If we listen to our inner voice we can get it right for our self.

Think about your intolerance and how it effects other people. You may need to check your attitudes out with a therapist to enable you to understand where you are.

Take care be happy

Sean x

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