Tolerance to accept new ideas, or ideas and beliefs opposite to your own, is important.
Tolerance does not mean you have to adapt everything all others believe or do, but you should keep an open mind, eye and ear for the ideas and beliefs of others. Doing so might just add some know-how to your own treasure chest of life experience and knowledge!
Tolerance needs to be cultivated, because it’s not at all easy to not simply say “Bullshit” and to move on. It takes a lot more effort on your part to first listen or read something that is opposite to your beliefs and habits, or that is new and seems strange at first, and then to think about it.
By going through this process of allowing new thoughts, digesting them and then making your own mind up before simply rejecting anything new and unusual you will discover facettes of the world and of people around you that otherwise would simply bypass you.
- When you are reading, read with an open mind. Write the questions that come to mind and that you would like to find answers, in the margins. Then take action and research, ask others, look things up on the internet.
- When you encounter something new and unusual, try to understand what the motivation and drive behind it is and don’t just dismiss it outright.
- Accept that others have a different opinion and the right to have it.
- Accept that you or anybody else does not have the absolute monopole and truth about anything.
The key to tolerance is the ability to listen. This is a great audio on listening: ‘Listening: The Forgotten Skill’. Madelyn Burley-Allen shows in this audio how to improve listening skills and how to eliminate distractions and improve your concentration on what is being said; how to locate key words, phrases, and ideas while listening; how to cut through your own listening biases. In the audio you also learn how to ask constructive, non-threatening questions that will provide you with real information in the answers.
Don’t let your subconcious mind take over when it comes to listening and tolerance. You can program yourself to accept ideas and then make up your mind, rather than simply reject the unknown, unusual and new!