CHENNAI: We all want others to treat us decently. However one must not forget that while expecting so, we need to treat others decently as well. The key ingredient for every relationship to work is mutual understanding and acceptance between two parties wherein letting go and giving ample space is mandatory. However, when someone feels offended with us and evinces anger because of some minor misunderstanding, we should protect our relationship by using the umbrella of tolerance and safeguard ourselves from getting unwanted sorrow.
Similarly, acceptance is something that goes a step beyond tolerance. We can tolerate something without accepting, but we cannot accept anything without tolerating it. For example, when we get hurt unintentionally by the very person we love the most, we somehow tolerate it without understanding his/her situation. However, if we try to first understand the person’s dilemma and accept it with a big heart, then this act of ours would prevent further tension in our relationship.
Many people consider tolerance to be a weakness or an act of cowardice. But, the fact is that it is indicative of one’s inner strength, gentlemanliness, civility, cultured sense and moral maturity. A person can be tolerant only if he has self control, grace and wisdom because a foolish person shows the beast in him very easily.
History is witness to stories of tolerance that holy men possessed. They were badly treated, ridiculed, impersecuted and humiliated and yet, out of compassion, they stood above this all. They accepted to wear a crown of thorns for the sake of others who followed them. Thus, those whose aim is to serve, to do others good, to be benevolent to the peaceless and the suffering, have to be tolerant. Tolerance does not mean maintaining silence with such great pressure on the mind that it causes discomfort or pain. It is in fact a voluntary display of goodwill in the face of grave provocations. It is based on understanding that it is divine gift for both - one who observes tolerance and the other towards whom he observes tolerance.
The present world situation is such that anger, hate, cruelty, violence etc. are seen everywhere. There are signs and scenes of tension and preparation for war. Under such a scenario, it is best that we all have a better world through tolerance, acceptance and understanding.