Is tolerance a virtue? What do you think?

Pam - posted on 03/06/2012 ( 16 moms have responded )

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I think, In my opinion, Tolerance is not a virtue; actually... it is the same as intolerance, but just a different variation of the same ugly theme. The People who tolerate are the same people who dont tolerate. It is to feel Superior enough to stand in judgment and decide who is worthy and who is not of your respect. It is to have the perspective that some people are to be the tolerated while others are the tolerators. It's condescending, narcissistic, and it is dangerous. Does this mean that we always have to agree? no, we can disagree with respect, the caveat to that is the annihilation of others, that they have forfeited their own right to be respected, and yes, tolerated. To be this way is by virtue of their own intolerance. -I Learned this from Rabbi Reuven Bulka





My personal introspection on the topic...



I feel I should be honest, I've been that person, standing in judgment, only tolerating others and not embracing them. I'm guilty of being impatient, self absorbed, and allowing my judgments to become an annihilation of peoples characters, and to them I apologize.



I can see how I've acted with certain people in my life and I feel ashamed, I can only hope through introspective growth I can be a rock to lean on and not the stone hurled with intention to spitefully take another persons right to be respected. People deserve to live out their lives the way they need to, and be responsible for their own destiny, as I'm responsible for my own. ... What are your thoughts?

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Johnny - posted on 03/06/2012

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I do not agree. There are people that I simply tolerate. Their presence is not pleasing or enjoyable for me. It is not that I am judging their lifestyle or who they are, but they behave in a way that makes them unpleasant to be around. In the interests of peace and good society, I tolerate them. Does that make them worthless? No. In fact, I could probably list many good things about them, or at least a few.



I find the Rabbi's position idealistic. Although I do not consider tolerating someone the same as assuming superiority. Those people that I do not enjoy are not inferior to me, we are simply personalities that do not mix well. I also do not agree that tolerating something means that you do not respect it.



I will use one of my co-workers as an example. She is very knowledgeable about her work, does it well, and is an excellent mother. However, the way in which she speaks to people makes me not want to be around her. I respect her value in this world, but I only tolerate her presence, it tests me, I do not prefer it.

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i TRY to tolerate my great grandmother telling me that she doesn't care how i do things at home, while i'm in her house she'll do what she wants with my daughter. i still end up blasting her for it, most times. it's hard enough in my own home to encourage my 1yo to walk, it certainly doesn't help that my great grandma refuses to let her get her balance when she tries to walk while there.



i tolerate my brother's idiocy because if i don't, i piss everyone off because i'm starting stupid shit between my mother and myself.



i tolerate my parents' dislike of my son's name because they're only saying they don't like it because they know my husband came up with it, and they don't like him. and i tolerate that, even though it's really hard not to blast them about either case.



i tolerate shit because i know it won't do much good to be intolerant of it. so no, i don't think tolerance is a virtue. i think accepting and embracing is a virtue. and i can't embrace the shit i put up with by any means.

Jodi - posted on 03/06/2012

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I guess when I say I'm a tolerant person, I *mean* I'm accepting, but now that it's being pointed out, my idea of tolerance is different than what it actually is. I love the differences of people in my country. :)



But, I would rather have someone tolerate someone or a group of people rather than not. So tolerance really isn't a bad thing. We are not going to like everything about everybody, but we must tolerate it, and part of tolerance IS respect. Tolerance has it's place, respect is most important, acceptance to me...that's the key.

Johnny - posted on 03/06/2012

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I tolerate things I don't like. We are not going to like everything and everybody all the time. Some things, we are going to make negative judgments of. I tend to go with the idea that if it isn't hurting someone, I will tolerate it. I don't see anything wrong with the idea of being tolerant. Part of being tolerant is respecting that we all have the right to our own beliefs and lifestyle. We are simply just not going to like everything. I find that a bit ridiculous.



I don't really have an issue when people say, "I tolerate gays." If that's where they are at, then fine. As long as they are not expecting people to change their lives to accomodate someone else's views, I find it a bit much to ask them to embrace things they don't like simply because I happen to think it's just fine. Sort of like how I tolerate religion, I really don't like it, but it doesn't infringe on my life when someone else has their own faith. I must respect their choice, but I don't have to like it.

Stifler's - posted on 03/06/2012

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I agree. We need to embrace people. Barely tolerating them (aka I don't agree with your lifestyle but I will shut up for fear of other people reprimanding me) and not saying anything to stick up for them is as bad as being intolerant.

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MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 03/07/2012

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Kalloosit - nope I tolerate it. Simply because I would prefer to not have to walk around with her like that. However, she is her own person and I must tolerate those little things I don't necessarily agree with or wouldn't do myself. I am also tolerant of her behaviour at times. When it isn't completely out of order. I can't crap on her for everything, so I must tolerate the fact that she is different than me, even if I dislike some things she does. There are times I would prefer to not be around her, I still love her undubitably. I just have to tolerate certain things, so as to not cause unnecessary friction... ;) I most definitely do not feel I am superior to her (other than I am her mother) in the sense of a human being. I don't feel I am superior to anyone, including those acts I tolerate. I just simply prefer to be understanding and realize I am not going to like everyone and their differences to me, just as they are not going to all like me for whatever oddness I may present to them. However, they are still worth every existence on this earth as I. Another person may love every aspect of those I am tolerant of but, only tolerate certain aspects of me..... ;) It's what helps keep sanity and composure in society. It is a respect thing. An acceptance that not everyone feels as I, yet their beliefs do have a solid meaning for other's.

Pam - posted on 03/06/2012

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I'm trying to think of someone annoying lol~ I'm going to rest up and will continue this in the A.M, thanks for your viewpoint though I will definitely consider this angle~ goodnight all!! soo tired.

Pam - posted on 03/06/2012

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it's almost like when you say to your child "I love you, I just dont like it when you (insert undesirable behavior here)"

Pam - posted on 03/06/2012

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Thats a lot to tolerate or endure ;-) lol~



Maybe I should rethink this a little bit...



To tolerate a person in general would be a bit hardhearted, but to tolerate their behavior and endure their scrutiny so as to not upset your relationship is very unselfish...

Pam - posted on 03/06/2012

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One thing I do know is; Language can change perspectives, can introduce a whole new way of seeing things. There are some things said in Native languages that cannot be explained in English, or interpreted and even if we tried, it doesn't speak to its whole truth. Thus people who have the ability to speak many languages often have very high IQ's.



If we used the right words then would we be able to shape our thinking and bring a new understanding? I feel tolerance is one of those key words that if we understand it a little more, then it can change a mode of thinking.

Pam - posted on 03/06/2012

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and for meme, do you really just tolerate her ideas? or do you humor them half expectantly knowing she's a teen going with the rhythm of teenagism lol, because to tolerate them means having the capacity to endure. Like a person with cancer would tolerate the treatments, they endure it to live. Is what I mean by tolerate. Jodi, I do agree that it is the lesser evil to tolerate a group of people rather than not to tolerate but again, the same person who endures/tolerates is the same person who does not tolerate others, or struggles to tolerate. If someone just endures me, then I kinda feel worthless in their eyes (not to me but you know what I mean)... I'm a bit tired, had a long day, maybe the word tolerance is misinterpreted by some...I just hear it alot and I gotta wonder, should we change the theme.

Pam - posted on 03/06/2012

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but people who tolerate others are the same people who are intolerable of others as well, some mistake those to be opposites. I mean a person can respectfully disagree with another persons actions and still respect them as people who set out on their own paths but to "tolerate them" can be the virtue of their own intolerance, a passive perception that they are better or superior enough to deem that person worthy of respect in the first place.

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 03/06/2012

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Yep, I think the ability to be tolerant is important.



For instance I tolerate some odd idea's of my teen daughter. She is upstairs painting her nails right now; pink, blue and black. I think it is ugly but I tolerate it because she likes it. I wouldn't tell her it is ugly, I will tell her "ahh, very different!". LOL



The butthead that cut me off this morning is lucky I was in a good mood today and was able to be tolerant of his wicked driving. Yesterday, he may not have been so lucky...



I do my best to tolerate many things. I may not agree with them but I cannot ridicule or dismiss everything that I don't personally accept. I would be one sad, angry person. I think it is important to be able to tolerate things you don't necessarily like. If it isn't affecting me directly or indirectly, I often am able to be tolerant. If it is something that will have serious, negative impact on another, I am still not tolerant. Otherwise, I try my best.

Jennifer - posted on 03/06/2012

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I agree. I tolerate the clothes and hairstyles of my children. I do not like them, and I gladly point this out at every oppertunity. And then my children laugh and make fun of my hair, clothes, and music. In my house it is funny, and taken with a light heart. Society is very different, and in the general population it is a more personal attack. I do not know the mystery tattooed man who creeps along my back alley. At present, my judgement is based on his looks and actions,which I find offensive, but tolerate. That can turn into a physical assault in a nano-second. If he steps on my property, it will not be pretty. I definitly understand what you are saying!

Isobel - posted on 03/06/2012

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the word "tolerance" and all variations thereof no longer makes any sense in my brain. I'll try to read it again later, but you totally have overloaded my brain.

Krista - posted on 03/06/2012

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The term "tolerance" tends to have a lot of different meanings.



I have heard it used a lot when people are talking about gays, saying that they "tolerate" their lifestyle.



In those cases, I feel that it is damning with faint praise.



They do not fully recognize gays as equals and do not recognize that they have the same rights. Instead they are basically saying, "I do not consider you my equal in any way, shape or form, and really wish that you WEREN'T around, but it's unseemly to actively persecute you, so I'm going to just sort of pretend you're not there, and will hope that you try to be as discreet as possible so that I'm not continually reminded of your gayness."



It's basically, "I don't like it, and you can't make me like it, but I'll put up with it."



Is tolerance good enough?



I suppose it depends on who's doing the tolerating.



If it's your 98-year-old grandma, well, if tolerance is a big change from how she USED to feel, then so be it.



But if it's your government? Tolerance is NOT good enough. Tolerance implies that the person/group being tolerated is still faulty, lesser, inferior. And that is an unacceptable message.

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