Learning Tolerance

"We best show our love for our neighbors when we achieve an inner tolerance for the uniqueness of others."

Joshua Loth Liebman

We have to learn tolerance towards other human beings. Tolerance -not only of their opinions- but of their essence and uniqueness. We have to learn to respect their ways, their beliefs, their points of view, their talents, etc. Accept individual differences and beliefs without prejudice. Judge others only on their character, abilities and conduct. We all have different needs, different dreams and goals, different personalities and temperaments, different looks; we are -in this country and in this world- a melting pot of different nationalities, different people with different religions and principles, different values and different taste. Only when we are sure of ourselves will we let others be themselves and will we be able to respect our differences.

Don't expect others to be a carbon copy of you - an exact version of yourself. Approach people  with respect and understanding, without a judgemental, defensive and critical attitude. Concentrate in their good qualities -in their good side- and you'll get the best from them. You'll get from people what you expect from them and - so expect the best!

Understanding someone's beliefs, practices and habits doesn't mean that you have to share or accept those same beliefs, practices and habits. Learn to respect other people's opinions without automatically assuming that they are wrong, just because they are different than yours. It's a very human weakness to judge, criticize and even make fun of other people when we still don't know them well; try to avoid falling into this bad habit. This is usually a sign of someone with a low self-esteem; people with low self-esteem feel better when they make others feel bad (with criticisms, jokes, making fun of them and putting them down in any possible way).

We ourselves hope that others will like us with our weaknesses and strengths. We hope to find friends that appreciate us for who we are and do not criticize us for every little thing. Of course, we don't have to be friends with everybody and we may not agree with the behavior and attitude of some people; but -in general- if we develop an attitude of acceptance and approval towards our friends, neighbors and others, and try to truly connect with them and show interest in them as individuals - we'll definitely develop better friendships and people will appreciate us more. We can learn to be honest and to express our feelings - without insulting others and show concern and understanding - without feeling weak. We should not expect perfection, when we are not perfect ourselves and become so demanding, that no one could ever please us.

"The primary joy of life is acceptance, approval, the sense of appreciation and companionship of our human comrades. When we are accepted, approved, needed by those who know all about us and like us anyway, we have the first inkling of the peace that transcends understanding."
Joshua Loth Liebman

"Wear a smile and have friends; wear a scowl and have wrinkles. What do we live for if not to make the world less difficult for each other?"
George Eliot

"I discovered I always have choices, and sometimes it's only a choice of attitude."
Judith M. Knowlton

"Let us always meet each other with a smile, for the smile is the beginning of love."
Mother Teresa

"When you find peace within yourself, you become the kind of person who can live at peace with others."
Peace Pilgrim

"I believe the greatest gift I can conceive of having from anyone is to be seen, heard, understood, and touched by them. The greatest gift I can give is to see, hear, understand, and touch another person."
Virginia Satir

"We give of ourselves when we give gifts of the heart: love, kindness, joy, understanding, sympathy, tolerance, forgiveness..."

Wilferd A. Peterson

For other great messages check www.chaplaincare.navy.mil/index.htm (United States Navy)

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