Another Look At The Meaning Of Tolerance

What does “tolerance” mean to you?

I know the word is not new to you as people frequently use it. What I don’t know is how much of its real meaning you have understood and applied in your own sphere of influence.

You may probably have been tempted to think that tolerance strictly means to put up with something or someone with very nasty, horrible, terrible or poignant attributes. Not really!

Please take a good look at the definition below and compare it with what you already know about the meaning of the word:

Tolerance:

“Willingness to accept behaviour and beliefs which are different from your own.”

 

I don’t know about you, but the definition above opened up an entirely new vista to me, of which I am glad.

It shows for instance that tolerance doesn’t say we should put up with evil or bad things or bad people. But it clearly portrays “willingness to accept behaviour and beliefs which are different from [our] own.”

Now let’s take a closer look at the key aspects of the said definition:

• Willingness to accept…
• Behaviour and beliefs…
• Different from your own…

Tolerance would be required wherever there are inter-human relationships because you will always meet people whose behaviour and beliefs are different from yours.

That’s why tolerance may also be understood as “the ability or willingness to tolerate the existence or opinions or behaviour that one dislikes or disagrees with.

That means you can disagree with someone without going to war with him or her.

It means you should have an open mind towards someone even when he or she has an opinion that is completely different from yours.

Due to a number of varied factors such as genetic make-up, family background, religion, education, geography, exposure, life experiences etc, all of us believe different things and behave differently from one another.

That means that at any point in time in your chequered life, you will always see people who behave or believe differently from you; whose opinions about issues are not like yours. 

The question would then be, “how would you deal with such people?”

group of people standing on dock beside body of water

In order to coexist harmoniously with such people, you should be willing to tolerate them if you cannot change them.

Talking about changing people, experience has shown that many people are aware that some other people do not share their opinions, behaviour or beliefs.

But some times, they are unwilling to accept such other people who do not share their outlook. This is often the beginning of unnecessary conflicts in human interactions.

However, you may only try to effect some changes on peoples’ behaviour or beliefs if possible to suite yours; but you shouldn’t try to use force.

By the way, you can’t change anyone who doesn’t really want to be changed. You can only influence such person.

When it comes to changing someone’s behaviour or beliefs, influence should be the operating word, not force.

Otherwise, you must bring to bare the willingness to accept their behaviour and beliefs which you perceive to be different from your own and which you cannot change.

That, my friend, is the real meaning of tolerance.

Bear in mind that tolerance is a seed; as you sow it, you will reap the sweet harvest.

Don’t you realise that other people would have to tolerate you too?

I believe you know that not all your opinions, behaviour and beliefs are acceptable to everyone you come in contact with!

Although, I cannot guarantee it, other people too ought to be willing to accept your opinions, behaviour and beliefs which are different from their own. That is if they know what it means to practice tolerance.

There is no worthwhile relationships with people that do notnot requ tolerance in between.

Like all good habits, tolerance doesn’t just happen to us; it has to be cultivated deliberately and ‘open-heartedly’.

It is very important to cultivate it because you will need it if you desire to build a meaningful, harmonious and long-lasting relationship of any kind.

Here are a few areas where we can apply the principle of tolerance:

At home, between spouses , amongst siblings or other family members;
At work, between you and your boss, colleagues or direct reports;
In your neighbourhood, amongst co-tenants, etc
Amongst your friends, classmates in schools etc
In churches, with members and leaders alike;
In other organisations /relationships, etc

In fact, anywhere you come in contact with humans, tolerance is needed. As you well know, no body is perfect.

People are different. You are not everyone and everyone is not you. Therefore, there will always be differences in opinion, behaviour and beliefs between you and others.

There would be conflicts all the time in all kinds of human relationships if the principle of tolerance is not imbibed.

The extent to which you realise this differences and how well you are willing to accept and manage them depict your level of tolerance at any given period.

What does tolerance mean to you? Let’s hear from you in the comment section.

******

Previously published on this blog in 2015 as “What tolerance really means.”

Advertisements

12 Beautiful Things I learnt From Starting a Blog

12 beautiful lessons I learnt from starting ablog

When I started a personal blog a year ago, it was part of my desires to share living ideas or appropriate thoughts in a way that would inspire or be a blessing to my readers. I equally saw it as an avenue to explore my writing potentials which I presumed I had but haven’t really explored on a very large scale before.

Looking back now, I realised that apart from helping in honing my writing skills more, I have also learnt a handful of positive personal lessons which are worth sharing.

Here are some of the beautiful things I learnt from starting a blog:

  1. The ideas or thoughts you have in your head would never be a blessing to others except you shared them.

Blogging has provided me the most organized platform for sharing my thoughts beyond my nose. If you have ideas worth sharing, it is okay to consider blogging.

I am grateful to all those who have given me the feedbacks that indicated they found my posts very useful. I found too that my writings are also a blessing to me, personally. I guess there are writers who would identify with that feeling.

  1. You don’t necessarily have to be an expert in anything before you start a blog.

I wasn’t one either! But you would never get started if you think you are not an expert in your field yet. The little you know and share can be a blessing to someone out there.

I know there are specialized blogs out there. But one thing is sure: Everyone is searching; no one has all his/her questions already answered. Otherwise, no one would be reading.

  1. You are not the best, neither are you the worst blogger.

You can easily know that you are not the best blogger out there. But on the flip-side too, don’t see yourself as the worst either. Whether as an established blogger or a nascent one, I found we are all learning to do this blogging thing better.

You may feel that others are doing it better than you are doing (which may be true). But that’s not enough reason to be discouraged. And there is room for you to come on board if you haven’t started at all. The world is waiting to hear your unique voice.

  1. Until you decide to reach out to others, you will remain in obscurity.

Blogging has been an awesome avenue for me to reach out to people across the world. Once you put your thoughts out there, both people around and across the continents can access them.

Except in my dreams, I have never been to any part of Europe or Asia or America or Australia. But people in these places are reading and following my blog. Suffice to say that but for my blog, they might never have heard about me. I reached out to people and now I have people reaching out to me.

  1. Not everyone will agree with your views but there will be someone who does.

In as much as you don’t agree with every opinion that people put in your face, it is also fair enough to expect that not everyone will agree with yours. All the same, congratulations to you if you find that you have more people who agree with your views than those who don’t.

The ‘like’ and ‘comment’ parts of my post will often have a pointer to whether or not someone liked my expressed views. So if someone disagreed with me enough to leave me a comment that states so, I would often be glad about it and would take it as an invitation for further interaction.

  1. You will meet unusual people.

Except your blog is a private one, you will not be able to limit or determine those who read it. That means anyone anywhere can find your blog and read you online except it is indexed to be unsearchable on Google for instance.

In the course of the last year, I have had some atheists visit my blog. Their visit led to a series of online interaction between them and me. I later converted the interactions into several series of new posts. This was unusual for me because up till that time, I had never had any close encounter with any avowed atheist.

  1. Negative criticisms hurt but you need not let them stop you.

I would love to tell you that I have never been negatively criticized for starting a blog, but that would be a lie. I have been harshly criticized by some people who heard that I was running a blog.

Sadly enough, as I later found out, most of such people have never even read a paragraph of any of my posts. Yet they took joy in deriding my humble efforts. Sometimes, I felt hurt by those unwarranted verbal attacks. But as you can see, I have not allowed such negative responses to stop me, neither should you.

  1. In the midst of negative criticisms, there are still some nice people to urge you on.

Such wonderful souls could be found around you, or they may also be located thousands of miles away from where you are. Irrespective how much negative criticisms you get, one thing is sure, there would be someone somewhere who would appreciate your blogging efforts and would be glad to cheer you on.

There was a time I found myself complaining that I was facing too many harsh criticisms about the fact that I started a blog, a very kind human voice I met said to me, “Victor, ignore those who criticize you harshly. Don’t let them stop you.” That advice has been very helpful.

  1. Your friends and family may not be interested in reading your blog as much as you would expect them to do.

You have the freedom to expect that your friends and family members would be the most ardent followers/readers of your blog. Unfortunately, this may not always be so, as I found out.

Most followers of my blog are from across the oceans. It appears that what Jesus said about a ‘prophet not having honour in his home country’ applies in blogging too. But that awful reality should never discourage the prophet. So why should it stop the blogger?

  1. More ideas will come to you as you write your posts.

I discovered that the more posts you write and the more you read other blogs, the more inspiration you get to write more relevant pieces. Even a preacher knows that writing a sermon becomes easier as he does it over time.

No need to worry over what to write. Just get started by writing something – anything – and more ideas will begin to flow to you as you write. (As I was writing item no 5 above, I got the idea to write another item for post of which I have drafted the title and 5 supporting bullet points). You see what I mean?

  1. One little step can open several opportunities.

Through my blog for instance, I met Edmond Saganyando, who invited me to be a contributor to his blog. Some of my blog posts have been reblogged on other sites too.

From writing blog posts I have also received the inspiration to start some other worthwhile projects. I really agree that there are limitless possibilities in blogging. You may never find out until you get started.

  1. I did it, so can anyone; even you!

Starting a personal blog was a little step I took a year ago. I could say that I am better off in so many ways now than I was before I came into blogging.

What have you learnt from your experience of starting a blog? Kindly share your story.

 

©CopyRight | Victor Uyanwanne

BE KIND ENOUGH TO SHARE WHAT YOU KNOW

BE KIND ENOUGH TO SHARE WHAT YOU KNOW
By Victor Uyanwanne

Some people think they don’t know so much about anything to be able to teach it to other people. But that’s probably not true. I believe there is always something you know that someone else close-by or afar off may not know, which he may need to know in order to lead a better, healthier and happier life.

Don’t wait until you become an expert before you can begin to share what you know with other people who may need your knowledge. What we often don’t realise, is that no matter how little we know, there is always someone we know much better than who will be interested in what we know. So sharing your so-called ‘little’ knowledge will no doubt be of help to such people.

Nobody will know much if everybody waited to become certified experts before they began to share what they knew . It will not be kind to withhold useful information that someone might need simply because you think you are not an expert yet. So I am of the opinion that sharing what you know with people that need it will not be a bad idea. You will be surprised how much it will improve the quality of lives of people around you.

If we relate with the right kind of people, we will get the right kind of information at relatively no cost.

Sharing what you know can enable people make better decisions that will improve their lives. As I began to think about writing this article, I mentioned to a colleague in the office that during the break hour I would go see an ophthalmologist whose eye clinic was on retainership with our company. The place is located about 3 kilometres away from our upscale office location.

“Why go all that distance,” asked the colleague, “when there is a good one right on our street here”?

“Really? I didn’t I know that!” I enthused. Following my colleague’s suggestion, I simply walked only about 100 meters to get to the eye-clinic he mentioned. As it turned out, and to my pleasant surprise, I got an excellent service from there. That little information volunteered by my colleague saved me the stress of having to drive down a farther distance along a vehicular traffic prone area on that hot afternoon.

When I returned to my desk in the office, I thanked my colleague for the information and also quipped, “The quality of decision one makes depends on the quality of information available to one.” Without wasting time my colleague replied me, “The quality of information one gets depends on the quality of questions one asks”. A third colleague overheard our discussion and also added his voice, “Good quality information costs money, so you have to pay for this one….” We all shared a good laugh over all this.

Besides helping you in clarifying or improving your own knowledge, sharing your knowledge and experiences in life can make life better for someone else, near or afar off.

Well, to be honest, it is true that getting good quality information might cost money, but not necessarily all the time. If we relate with the right kind of people, we will get the right kind of information at relatively no cost. That’s the reason it will be appropriate to commit to sharing what you know so that others can benefit from you.

I don’t know about you, but as for me, I enjoy sharing useful information with people that need it. However I must admit that it is not always as easy as it may seem, especially when I don’t get the kind of positive feedback as I might rightly expect. I don’t mean to scare you here, but I believe getting you reminded that you might be criticized for sharing what you know may help you handle the challenges whenever they begin to come.

What you know now that you refuse to share may be what someone needs to hear to open his eyes to a brighter world than he is right now.

I am sure your background, education, training and experiences in life have afforded you the opportunity of knowing some things that someone else around may not necessarily know. Besides helping you in clarifying or improving your own knowledge, sharing your knowledge and experiences in life can make life better for someone else, near or afar off. Sometimes, you may not be able to go all out to do that, but giving little tips here and there as the need arises could be of immense help to someone.

“How do I start?”, you may ask. Here are a few suggestions to assist you:

• Be willing to be a teacher – you don’t have to be in a classroom setting to do that. Anywhere you find yourself where someone lacks a particular kind of useful knowledge you possess is a good point to begin. People can do things better if they have better tips made available to them. What you know now that you refuse to share may be what someone needs to hear to open his eyes to a brighter world than he is right now.

• Answer useful questions – when someone asks you to explain a concept you know or give information that may be of help to them, be kind and humble enough to do it. A local proverb in Nigeria says that “He who asks questions will never miss his way.” So if someone is humble enough to seek your knowledge by asking you appropriate questions, please be kind enough to answer them.

• Be ready to guide people – there are many people who want to know how you got where you are right now, or how you achieved what you have achieved. If such people want to be like you, please show them the way. “We see farther when we stand on the shoulders of those who have gone before us.” More so sharing what you know does not decrease your knowledge stock. Isn’t that good pretty obvious?

Use any other strategy that works for you in sharing what you know. It is a world of no limits. Just don’t hoard your knowledge.

• Document your useful experiences in life. Don’t carry your wealth of experience to the great beyond just like that. Write a useful book so others can read about it. Long after you are gone, you will still be speaking via your books.
• Start a blog. Write about what you know. Share your experiences, unique or not so unique, it matters less. Your blog will reach people even in other climes that you might never meet face to face.

Create appropriate videos and post them on youtube for others to see. A number of times, I found some “how to…” videos on youtube to be very helpful. I remain grateful to all those who posted such knowledge sharing videos I have had course to access at one time or another.

Use other social media like Facebook, twitter etc to reach out to people in your cycle and beyond. Share useful tips there. Write useful articles and post them. A number of times, some people have told me that my posts on my Facebook page really helped, inspired or encouraged them. I can say the same thing about what some people posted on their facebook walls that I accessed.

Start a column in a local newspaper of your choice. Have you not noticed that people still read the traditional newspaper despite the internet revolution? Sharing what you know through this medium will sure reach people.

Organize seminar or workshop if you can. This may cost you a bit, but the impact will surprise you.

• If necessary, prepare relevant audio CDs and distribute them. This way, people can gain knowledge listening to you.

Do podcasting too if you can. Someone will be interested.

Use any other strategy that works for you in sharing what you know. It is a world of no limits. Just don’t hoard your knowledge.

NEVER STOP TRYING

NEVER STOP TRYING
By Victor Uyanwanne
20/03/2015

Rome was not built in a day
That’s what people say
But why do some people worry
That they are not in a hurry?

The race is not to the swift
So don’t cause any rift
You know that with divine grace
You can get to win the race?

Learn to never stop trying
But try and cease crying
You know a bucket of tears
Does not birth a couple of cheers