Many Misunderstand the Concept of Tolerance

Many Misunderstand the Concept of Tolerance March 12, 2017

A-PATHEOS-TNJ-76.fwLet’s start out with a simple understanding of three important verbs, and how they relate to each other; Tolerate, Accept, and Want.

Tolerate: To allow.
Accept: To consent to receive.
Want: To have a desire to possess.

As I’m sure we can all see, there are some big differences between those three verbs. They are, if you will, part of a continuum of ideas, but they’re also, somewhat, mutually exclusive of each other. Let me try to connect how these three verbs work together, and yet stand independently from each other:

Let’s say, you have an idea. You voice your idea to the world, and some disagree with you, and reject your idea. When that happens, you make the statement, ‘If you disagree with me, you’re not being very tolerant to my idea.

If that is the case, here is where you’re going wrong with your understanding of tolerance. One can be tolerate to an idea, or statement, by any particular person [“allowing” your idea to be expressed], while not accepting the idea, or statement [consent to receive], or wanting [a desire to possess] the idea, or statement. In other words, you can say what you desire, and others can be tolerant of your idea, or statement, without having to accept it, support it, or agree with it. If we look at any particular idea, or statement, as falling along a continuum, one can tolerate what you say, you have the right to say what you desire, but that does not mean others must accept your statement, or that others are unable to reject your statement [not want it, not receive it, or possess it]. So, as you can see, there is a big difference between the concept of tolerance, the concept of acceptance, and the desire to want.

If you say something crazy, insulting, hurtful, or questionable, we can tolerate your idea [and should, because you can say what you desire], but, tolerating your idea does not require anyone to accept what you say, and everyone has the right to not want that statement in their spirit [which gives others the right to not accept, or want, the statement]. Tolerance simply means you can express your idea, and others have the right to reply, and even reject your idea, and speak against it. No one is trying to stop you from thinking, or saying, what you desire; in that, you cannot require others to accept, or want, your idea.

Many falsely believe that if others don’t accept, or want, an idea, they’re being intolerant. If you say somethings others disagree with, they can speak out against it [not accept it], or not desire to possess [want] the idea at any level. Just as you have the right to express your ideas, others have the right to say your idea is wrong, hurtful, insulting, questionable, and even crazy.

Notice some very important fact in each of those definitions given earlier; at no point, do they express that one must agree with you [or that you must agree with them]; at no point do those definitions say no one can question what you say, or have a different point of view.

Saying others must accept your views, or they’re being intolerant, is simply a complete misunderstanding of the concept of tolerance.

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