THE WORLD NEEDS MORE TOLERANCE

Tolerance is the only real test of civilisation. Man, in the 21st century believes he is more civilised than his ancestors. But is he also more tolerant than them? Unfortunately, the virtue of tolerance is not abundant in today’s world.

WHAT IS TOLERANCE?

It can be defined as the possession of a fair and objective perspective and attitude towards those people who are of different religions, nations, or have a different opinion, ideas, and beliefs.

WHAT IS THE IMPORTANCE OF TOLERANCE?

The importance of tolerance lies in its ability to make an individual broad enough in mind to be receptive to all kinds of idea. This, in turn, enables one to widen one’s knowledge and exercise more freedom of choice and judgement of oneself. At the same time, it creates a deeper understanding of other’s beliefs and views.

LOW LEVEL OF TOLERANCE AND ITS CONSEQUENCES

Today, tolerance seems to be at a discount at all levels. At the most trivial sign of disagreement hot words are exchanged, almost immediately escalating into a fight and sometimes even murder. Family members find it difficult to put up with one another’s shortcomings- after all, which human being is perfect? Social groups, communities, nations, and racial groups- at all levels, there appears to be an acute lack of tolerance. Trivial misunderstanding, even rumours, give rise to riots with the accompanying bloodshed and permanent scar on relationships. At the national level, there are civil war and border wars. So often a personal matter such as religion has been distorted to create hatred amongst people. If people learned to tolerate one another’s views, perhaps, such sad occurrences could be reduced.

WHAT ARE THE REASONS BEHIND LOW LEVEL OF TOLERANCE?

Why has tolerance level come so down? Or, indeed, has it come down at all? Human beings all through the agree have shown intolerance of views and beliefs and customs alien o their own. Wars such as the crusades have been fought because of religious intolerance. Religious minorities have been suppressed and oppressed. Racial tension has grown due to intolerance. So long as human beings give in to envy, jealousy, greed, and malice, tolerance will suffer. In recent times several longstanding and accepted social institutions have shown signs of crumbling. Family values, special values are being eroded. An increasing materialistic and consumer culture has not helped to nurture essential values.

 

Enlightenment of individual is necessary. Universal values of liberalism, the willingness to listen to others, at most agree to disagree and not enter into a fight of domination-these qualities have to b bred at every level of society. Democracy, after all, means tolerance of dissent. If this tolerance is not imbibed and nurtured, we can have only more and more Bosnias, Chechny as Kashmir.

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