Critical Thinking: Is It A Surprise That The People Who Talk About Tolerance Are Often The Most Intolerant?
Along with the word diversity, tolerance is another word that is often mentioned by politicians and celebrities. It doesn’t stop there though as there are plenty of people who talk about how important is it to be tolerant.
For example, if someone is at university or has been there, they could spend a lot of time talking about this. Someone like this is then going to do what they can to tolerate views and opinions that they disagree with.
This won’t always be easy, but while there will be moments when they will be tested, they will most likely do their best to behave in this way. Therefore, even though this won’t be a walk in the park, it will be something that they are committed to.
There may even be times when they are unable to tolerate something and end up letting it be known. And while this may mean that they have gone off track, so to speak, this might not be the case.
A Time and A Place
The reason for this is that while there will be times when it will be important to be tolerant, there will be times when it won’t be. If one is in a relationship with someone who behaves in an abusive manner, it will be vital for them to be intolerant.
The only thing that will happen if they put up with this behaviour it is that they will be undermined. They will need to make it clear that this kind of behaviour is not acceptable and, if this doesn’t work, they will need to end the relationship.
In general, when they don’t agree with what someone says, they could just acknowledge what is taking place and carry on with their life. Or, if they were to engage with the other person, they could say that they don’t agree with what they have said but they respect their right to say it.
It could be said that this will show that they have reached a certain level of mental and emotional maturity. Their mind will be open to hearing opposing views, and their heart will open enough to enable them to be able to empathise with others.
A Balanced Human Being
Having the ability to be tolerant and to be intolerant when something is harmful is going to allow them to be flexible. Due to what the modern-day world is like, there are likely to be people who find it hard to understand why they would ever want to be intolerant.
Even so, one will know how there are times when it is vital for them to draw the line and not to go along with something. It they were overly tolerant in the past, it might not be hard for them to connect to the pain that they experienced through being this way.
One Big Illusion
If someone believes that it is important to be tolerant at all times and is unable to understand why anyone would ever want to be intolerant, this may be something that they live and breathe. Then again, they could have the tendency to say one thing and to behave in another way altogether.
It is then going to be a challenge for a lot of people to understand how someone could be so hypocritical. Based on how they behave, it will be as if being tolerant means something entirely differently.
So, if someone like this hears another person say something that they disagree with, they can end up criticising them. This could be a time when they will say that they have some kind of phobia or use a word that has ‘ist’ at the end.
Tolerating other people’s views is then not going to be something that they are able to do. Either someone will need to believe what they themselves believe or they will be attacked and portrayed as being less-than human, for instance.
Out of Touch
In order for someone like this to maintain the view that they are tolerant, they will need to have a poor connection with reality. If they were to face up to how they behave, the view that they have of themselves would shatter.
One thing that will allow them to keep reality at bay will be for them to use the defence mechanism known as justification. Through portraying certain people as being less-than human, they will be able to continue to see themselves as a tolerant human being.
What Is Going On?
Another defence mechanism that will be utilised here is projection, with them seeing their intolerant nature in others. What this can show is that although one’s mind has been educated, their emotional self has been overlooked.
Yet even though their mind has been educated, they still have a closed mind and lack the ability to think critically. It might then be accurate to say that this is someone who has been taught what to think by the education system, not how to think.
The Key Area
If one had an open heart, it would enable them to empathise with others, making it easier for them to actually be tolerant. For this part of them to open up, it will be necessary for them to work through the pain that is in their body.
All the time that this part of them is closed and they are carrying a lot of emotional pain, it will be perfectly normal for them to be intolerant. As they are not willing to face their so-called darker side, they will end up seeing it in others.
What this emphasises is that if someone wants to make a difference in the world and not just add more drama to it, it will be essential for them to heal their emotional wounds. If they don’t do this, the parts of themselves that they are not willing to face will be projected into others.
The downside here is that even though this will take place, one can believe that they are making a difference and they can see themselves as being a morally superior human being. One thing that can make it even harder for them to realise what is going on is if they are surrounded by people who are just as disconnected from their own wounds.
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Oliver JR Cooper
Oliver JR Cooper
Author, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
That which is contained within these articles is based on my own empirical understanding and is true for me at the time they were written. However, as I continue to grow, what I perceive as the truth will inevitably change and as a result of this - parts of these articles may not reflect my current outlook.