Helen Keller once remarked, “Tolerance is the greatest result of education.” As we’ve discussed before, the societal environment we collectively create helps to create us. The sharpening of disagreement and the coarsening of dialogue in our culture creates a tumultuous environment that is counterproductive to our betterment.
You may believe you have the spiritual truth of the ages or the right political philosophy for the moment, but is it necessary for everyone else to be wrong so you can be right? Is it necessary to shout down your opponents or make them evil?
Couldn’t you broaden your mind to the idea that we all show up here like blank slates and that most of what you know or think you know is just what other people have told you?
What if you gave others the benefit of the doubt? What if you accepted there’s more than one way to see life or find the truth?
Is that really so subversive? Is it possible there are things you don’t know and experiences you haven’t had that may account for the reasonable conclusions other have reached about life?
Maybe, just maybe, you and I should take a step back from our moral surety and superiority and recognize that others are doing the best they can with what they know.
Yes! You should share your ideas, but can’t you do it in the spirit of finding the best solutions rather than merely winning an argument? Can you acknowledge others have pieces of the puzzle you lack?
This, I believe, is the evolved tolerance Helen Keller was talking about. What a better world and a better us it would be if this mindset replaced the din of vitriol and one-upsmanship that permeates our dialogue today.
I love you all! Go out and be your best self today!