Let’s Talk Tolerance!

Today we communicate by talking face to face, emailing, texting, phone calls, facetime, letters, newspapers, news, books, blogs, and much more. We work together, play with friends, worship with others, live in communities . . . each requiring communication to navigate our ordinary interactions. Exchanging ideas and necessary expressions in each of these areas requires its own particular way. Sometimes expression is not a simple task! So, Let’s talk tolerance!

What IS Tolerance?

The simplest definition is talking and listening, with ideas and messages interchanged. In reality, however, real communication that is productive and rewarding requires more than articulation and hearing. To be truly useful, the communicants must be tolerant both in speaking and comprehending.

Tolerance

The dictionary lists tolerance as the ability or willingness to have sympathy or indulgence for beliefs or practices differing from or conflicting with one’s own. Synonyms include forbearance, long-suffering, patience, sufferance. An antonym is impatience.

We have a choice in how we respond. Today the word tolerant seems to mean that as long as you agree with me, I will accept what you have to say. If not, you are wrong and become my enemy, with all that word implies. Communication is then effectively shut down and there is no relationship.

What Can We Do?

Tolerance? Value difference and diversity—even though there is more ambiguity and uncertainty with this. Accept the uncertainty. Think more about answers than questions. There are often many different answers to the same question, and more than one “right” answer! Learn about other people and cultures. Ask questions in respectful and polite ways. All feelings involved need to be analyzed to understand the context and roots. Recognize and challenge those feelings that don’t include tolerance. Foster our own self-esteem. When we feel more secure and confident we are more open-minded and tolerant of others. From Wikihow

What Does Tolerance Look Like In Practice?

When I realize that not everyone agrees with me (and it would be a dull world if they did!) then I have some choices. I can choose to hang with only those who mirror my thinking. However, this isn’t very practical and could end up alienating me from people I find interesting and worth knowing. Instead, I can venture out beyond my comfort zone and allow myself to be stretched. I don’t give up my choice of what to believe when I recognize that others have just as much of a
right to choose to live out their choices as I do.

Tolerance may not be an easy issue in this current culture; but to endure and grow it is a necessary skill. It is also a choice. Remember, tolerance is the ability or willingness to have sympathy or indulgence for beliefs or practices differing from or conflicting with one’s own. It is not your responsibility to change me, or mine to change you. However, if we can be truly tolerant of one another, there is no limit to the amount of good we can accomplish working together.

With joy and tolerance,

Ardie Gallant

#Tolerance, #Differences, #OhmyArts, #Communication, #Disagreements, #Conflict, #ConflictResolution

I don’t give up my choice of what to believe when I allow others to choose to live out their choices.

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