7-4-21 Tolerance, Acceptance

Tolerance, Acceptance

Tolerance – The capacity to endure subjection to something, personal or environmental, without adverse reaction. 

Acceptance – Welcoming, embracing and acknowledging without judgment. Knowing what we can’t change, not dwelling on a resentment of reality, and working diligently towards healthy goals.

Tolerance is not always seen as a virtue. For instance, to tolerate can mean to put up with something in a rather grudging or resentful manner or tolerance can be associated with weakness, an inability to stand your ground and assert yourself. And tolerance is often thought to mean agreement. In Buddhism tolerance is extremely important and is the acceptance that other people hold different views from us. Tolerance is an attitude of loving kindness towards those who hold views which are different from ours and even towards those who hold views which are repugnant to us. Intolerance on the other hand, is the use of force, violence and coercion to make other people behave as we want them to and hold the views we want them to hold, or to have resentments that their views are different. 

Tolerance does not mean accepting harm being done to ourselves or others. We do need to speak up, and perhaps take action when we see harm being done. We can take action, as kindly as possible, to not permit harm and still feel a sense of compassion for the offender, knowing they are acting from a place of fear and confusion. It is possible to not agree with a doctrine, belief or lifestyle, without rejecting those who adhered to it.

 Often the difficulty we experience with others who are different from us stems from a tendency to make instant judgments or even to prejudge what we do not like in ourselves. We can’t be tolerant of others when we do not like and respect ourselves. Our intolerance of ourselves will create tension and conflict within ourselves and will come out as intolerance, judgment, and a disliking of others. When we are comfortable and sure in our beliefs, we do not feel the need to force them on others. Any influence will naturally occur through our actions, acceptance and tolerance. 

We tend to focus on what is wrong with us, and not give ourselves credit for our good and healthy attributes. If you are here, working on your spiritual path, that is good! Remember what it was like a while ago when you were very fearful, confused and creating harm? You have decided to take steps to work with who you WERE and become a better person. A good path to be on! Keep going.

This is all one thing, your good and your bad self are not two different people, it is who you are, and it is fine. Work with it all, with a kindness towards the totality of who you are as the foundation you keep returning to and coming from. Likes and dislikes are irrelevancies in the spiritual life and we need to strive to get beyond them to something more substantial.

“Tolerance only for those who agree with you is no tolerance at all.”   Ray Davis

We need to kindly be aware of and disapprove of what is unskillful in our behavior or thoughts or speech. In other words we can, as it were, disagree with ourselves. At the same time we need to maintain feelings of kindness towards ourselves. We can disapprove of our own unskillfulness without having to undermine ourselves, or think of ourselves as worthless or be angry with ourselves. Sometimes people acknowledge that they’ve done wrong and go on to completely negate themselves as if there were nothing of value in themselves. That is intolerance. Sometimes people acknowledge that they’ve done wrong and say blithely, “Oh, that’s me, that’s just the way I am,” That is indulgence. As we progress on the spiritual path we may experience conflict within ourselves. It’s as if part of us wants to lead the spiritual life and meditate and study and so on, and another part of us doesn’t want to have anything to do with it. Would rather go to the cinema, judge others, feel like a victim, be a wise ass, keep being upset when you don’t get YOUR way, watch mind numbing programs and so on. And wonder why happiness is elusive. A gentle discipline is necessary and will bring results of self-worth and more contentment.

Personal relationships are sometimes based on one party needing to fulfill something within themselves and looking for someone else to do it.
Or, one party needing to be a dominant force in someone else’s life.
Neither scenario contains the sense of worthiness, acceptance and tolerance, for ourselves and others, that is essential to deal with our relationship with ourselves, or anyone else, in a healthy manner.
Neither give up your power, nor try to exert your power over another.

We cannot progress spiritually by denying who we are. Everything must be brought into consciousness and transformed by the warmth of awareness and loving kindness. There are some basic truths which we can know from our own experience such as “hatred is not appeased by hatred” towards ourselves or towards others. Even if it’s difficult or uncomfortable, and sometimes it will be difficult and uncomfortable. That is where growth comes from.

Should we show tolerance toward intolerance? Clearly, the answer is no. There are things—inhumane, harmful things—that we should never tolerate. There are limits then to tolerance. But where is the line?In the passage above, President Ikeda (President of Harvard) suggests that the line that should not be crossed is disrespect for the dignity of all life. So long as the basic premise that all life is respect-worthy is universally agreed upon, we can and should tolerate a wide variety of thinking and behavior—a kind of tolerance-with-limits. True tolerance, thus, requires immense exertion on our part to overcome our own prejudicial thinking, our own attachment to differences. Such effort is the basis for establishing a society rooted in peace and human rights.

I am not impressed by money, status, or title. I’m impressed by the way you treat other human beings.

Acceptance releases the power that your life circumstances have over you. When things don’t go your way, you don’t become paralyzed by negative emotions such as anger, fear, resentment, or regret.

Acceptance isn’t the opposite of caring. You may still care about your challenges and are invested in finding ways to overcome them. However, you won’t spend every moment thinking about what’s wrong in your life.

Life is what it is, But – It will become what you make of it.
Accept your life challenges knowing that acceptance and tolerance with wisdom, is the first and necessary step to enter a place of happiness.

How do you fill your bucket? One drop at a time
The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step
The great arises out of small things that are honored and cared for
May you be well. May you be happy. May you find peace.

Heart Of Recovery web site  — fcheartofrecovery.com


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