Written for the Nation Jeans
We don’t live alone. We live with millions of other people and we share one world with them. Sadly it’s becoming more and more difficult to live with others, and so, the walls are built higher, and the conversations are cut short. However, what makes us distance our selves from fellow man?
No one is a carbon copy of another. There may be similarities, especially in the way we think. However, there will always be disagreements between people. This is mostly due to the various beliefs that coexist in this world. We could have religious or ethnic differences. But we could also disagree on the arts, on science and even history. If you take a math sum, there could only be one solution. However, there are many ways to get to that solution, and there could be disagreements regarding the method. One could say their method is the best, while another will scoff at that method.
While this could lead to a feeling of uneasiness between two people, it can expand to the communities they belong to. When this happens, what was once a battle between two people, becomes a war between two communities. Then the finger-pointing and name-calling begins and before you know it, you are forced to take a side. Entire nations have gone to war against each other due to a lack of one single thing. A thing that could have stopped all conflicts even before they started. This thing is what all religions preach, what all men and women should have. It is tolerance.
To tolerate isn’t to accept or agree with. We can agree with people, we can accept their beliefs. Yet, sometimes we just can’t. And it is better to be honest than be a blind-believer. An atheist cannot agree to the existence of a god, and he can’t accept god’s words. However, he can tolerate theist beliefs. Through tolerance we avoid conflicts and wars. We are able to coexist with people who have different beliefs.
Sadly, we are so used to taking an eye for and eye. All we want is to be proven right. We don’t want to accept that we are wrong or that there are beliefs different from our own. And so we forget tolerance and what we are taught from our very early days.
However, why is tolerance important? Why do we need to be tolerant?
Since we share a world with many others, we need to respect them. And when we respect a person, we respect their beliefs and opinions. With respect comes tolerance, because when we respect beliefs we don’t challenge them and we don’t pounce at people. Thus we need to be tolerant and respectful if we want to live in peace. Look at the world, there are wars going on everywhere. Some are wars for land. However, most are due to a lack of tolerance. Thus if we want to share this world and not kill each other, we need to be tolerant.
Tolerance also says a lot about our own beliefs. Do you believe in a doctrine that doesn’t promote tolerance, or worse, discourages tolerance? If so, you need to rethink your beliefs. This is not a ‘me, myself and I’ world. We need to give room for all beliefs, and thoughts. We can’t mock people just because they believe in something we don’t. And we definitely shouldn’t fight against each other because of disagreements or conflicts.
Non-vegetarians shouldn’t ridicule vegetarians. However, vegetarians too should be tolerant of meat-eaters. There are vegetarians and vegans who don’t allow people to eat meat when near them. However, they need to accept that their beliefs about food are not shared by everyone. And like a non-vegetarian respects a vegetarians eating habits, they too must respect a non-vegetarian’s food preferences.
Go back to that question on what makes us distance ourselves from fellow man. The answer is simple; it is the lack of tolerance that is abundant in today’s world.