If you approach each new person you meet in a spirit of adventure, you will find yourself endlessly fascinated by the new channels of thought and experience and personality that you encounter. — Eleanor Roosevelt
Tolerance. Beautiful word. One of my favorite words, actually. When I think of tolerance, I think of acceptance and compassion. I think of tolerance as living in a state of NOT over-expecting, hyper-criticizing, condemning, judging, or looking down on individuals or causing them to feel “beneath you”. Of realizing that you may not be as far-removed from the one you’re standing in judgement of as you may think.
Intolerant people turn me off faster than my husband turns off Rascal Flatts music. When it comes to him and their music, one “note” and he changes the channel. With me and the intolerant crowd, one word and I, too, tune out.
Some things are simply in our nature. My nature, to its very core, hates to see one individual believe himself or herself to be above another. I fully understand condemning certain behaviors – there are behaviors I abhor all day long and twice on Sundays. There are also certain thought processes that make me wonder if an individual has all their marbles. However, I don’t feel hatred or condemnation for the marble-less crowd. I generally just thank God that they don’t live under my roof.
I started thinking more about tolerance and it’s mindset recently. Within one day I heard of parents who were over-reacting to a mistake their teenage daughter had made. Over-reacting to the point that the young girl wanted to take her life. The parents made her feel as though she had failed them in every conceivable way and that she’d, basically, ruined their lives. It was too much for a 17 year old girl to handle and she began looking for a way out.
Later, that same day, I saw a woman (50ish) LITERALLY yelling at a woman (80ish) who was driving in the car in front of her – apparently much too slow for her liking.
Always try to maintain complete tolerance and always make an effort to give people more than they expect. – Scott Hamilton
Let’s take the parents first… we’ll get to the screaming banshee in a minute.
Parents oftentimes panic. Mind you, we have the most stressful job in the world. As the mother of 3, I understand this as much as anyone. Someone once told me that I was probably the most emotionally strong person they knew. I told them, I lived through the most stressful period of time a human can endure: Three teenage daughters AND an over-protective “daddy” all under the roof at once. It’s a wonder I don’t have residual tremors.
I’m all for strong parenting. You’d have a tough time convincing me that (in this day and time) there’s a such thing as being too strict. I’m also all for having a set of house rules and sticking to your guns. However, I’m not for panicking or for making your children feel as though they’ve disappointed you or failed to live up to your high and mighty standards. Something parents have to remember about their child is this: It’s their life. It’s not yours’. You brought them into the world but that doesn’t give you the right to try to live their life for them.
Parents, today, have to keep something in mind. Something very important. The world young people live in, today, is vastly different from the one you and I grew up in. What’s more, we have NO WAY to say for certain how we would handle these times. Think about it – our “world” was different from this one. The media, the music, the television shows, the clothes… everything. There’s no way we can say, with absolute certainty, WHO we would be if we had been born 20 years later.
For all we know, some parents today would be a lot worse than the kids they gripe about.
I thought about this very thing recently and, to be perfectly honest, as a teenager, I’d have been as big a Facebook flirt as anyone. This much I do know!
Here’s what really frustrates me. The same father who wore his hair long in the 70’s criticizing his daughter’s nose piercing or his son’s tattoos. HELLO… earth to dad! If he could travel through time, he’d see self-righteous people sneering at him, talking, behind his back. Then, if he traveled back to the present, he’d see that he’d BECOME those people.
And as I’ve gotten older, I’ve had more of a tendency to look for people who live by kindness, tolerance, compassion, a gentler way of looking at things. – Martin Scorsese
Bottom line: When you’re thinking of judging, criticizing, or condemning, think about how it makes you look. Ask yourself if you think anyone’s ever done it to you. Finally, ask, “Do I really want to be THAT person?” And when your kids mess up, be there to catch them… not throw them down.
As for people who get overly agitated with older people…. like the screaming banshee…. again, tolerance comes into play. Our reactions (in our 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, and 60s) are different from the reactions we’ll have when we’re older. I wanted to ask the screamer if she really wanted an 80 something year old woman speeding down the road. And… pet peeve alert… what does getting on an older person’s bumper accomplish? Are you that heartless that you want to put them into a ditch?
Tolerance. Realize that, first of all, this is someone’s mom, dad, grandmother, and/or grandfather. How would you want someone to treat this person if it were your family member. Would you want them to scream at them, get right up on their bumper, and give them the stink eye. Of course not! You’d think, “Keep your distance dumb a$$, they have as much right to be out as you do.”
If we’re lucky, we’ll one day BE the older person driving carefully down the road. And, I don’t know about you, but the last thing I’d want would be some smart alack youngster making me feel like I was nothing but a nuisance.
Finally, I just want to end with this:
- Smile more at people. Instead of sneering at a young girl or boy who look ridiculous to you, smile at them. You may be the only adult who does all week.
- If someone is driving slowly in front of you, look at it as a reminder from God to slow down and enjoy the ride.
- When you see an older person in public, smile and speak. I go out of my way to do so and the smiles returned to me make my day.
- You never know what’s going on in another person’s life or what they’ve been through.
- Make tolerance and compassion your buzz words.
- Karma is simply God’s sense of justice. I firmly believe that how you treat others will come back around to stare you in the face.
Human beings seldom step outside of themselves to really grasp the needs and fears of others. We often project our own thoughts and beliefs upon strangers, and make judgments based upon how we think they ‘should’ be living their lives. If only we could experience a few moments inside the feelings of another person, the world would be a much more compassionate and benevolent place. – Chelle Thompson