Respect or tolerance?
Today people speak a lot about tolerance. Everyone should be tol-erant. We should tolerate each other. On the first look it sounds good. Taking a deeper second look it is indeed evil.
The term tolerance originally means that you accept something which you normally cannot accept, which goes against your values, your principles, against what you feel is good and right.
So certainly everyone has individual ideas about what is good and right. Then society, tradition, culture and religion have their own ideas about this.
Besides very individual ideas and values or morals or ethics we have some important points where most people can or should agree, – keyword “human rights”, etc.
This means while some things are a matter of personal choice, other things are unhealthy, evil, bad, against the human nature, etc.
As we all coexist or live together we are somehow forced to deal with the differences in our values systems.
Now we have two choices. We can tolerate (negative term) each other or we can show respect (positive term) to each other. Some-thing negative cannot lead to something good. Tolerance means only to be not able to cause positive changes and to have to bear something bad. Respect means that everything is fine.
When something evil happens and you are powerless to go against it then you tolerate it. But it is still evil. And you certainly cannot respect it.
Now we can ask ourselves what it should mean when politicians always ask people to be tolerant. Why do they not ask people to pay respect?
I don´t answer this question here.
Now let us think about an example for tolerance and its results.
The American natives were to a major degree tolerant when the white men from Europe came to settle down on their land. The white men were not tolerant and they showed no respect. Quite the contrary they brought war and diseases and death. And thanks to their tolerance the American natives live now in small reserves, having to deal with depressions and addictions. The white men had and still have total contrary values than the natives. And the natives have still to pay a high price for their tolerance.
And let´s remember the history of our younger religions. At first when they were very small with only a few followers they were more or less tolerated by the established religions. Indeed they were asking for tolerance. And then after a while these religions became big and powerful and then they had no respect and also no tolerance for the belief of other people. They proclaimed to be absolute with the right to proselytize everyone by all means includ-ing torture and homicide. They brought so much suffering and death to so many people that it is incomprehensible and all in the name of God. Where is the tolerance? Where is the respect?
Tolerance always works only as long as you have not the power to change things according to your system of values.
Respect is what we all truly need, – everywhere!
And the evil must be punished, – everywhere!
Then we all enjoy peace and happiness.
At last you should ask yourself what you tolerate, what you respect but also who tolerates you and who respects you. And then ask yourself how things would change if you get respect and show respect to others.