“Are we losing faith in ourselves, in others, in everything around us? Why is this happening to us? People have become more and more humane towards themselves. They tolerate and justify all their actions. When it comes to other people, they have become without any tolerance, turning their heads away from suffering and from providing help, justifying themselves by lack of time and resources. The second chance has ceased to exist. “
Humanity as we know it and as it should be is in crisis. Tolerance seems to no longer exist. Intolerance took over.
Intolerance in the 21st century is different from religious intolerance of the Dark Ages in the Middle Ages. Intolerance in the Dark Ages hated intellect, science and reason. The intolerance of the modern age can slap anyone, anywhere and anytime for no reason. It exists everywhere, including democratic role models and is tolerated by Western societies when it comes to undemocratically developed countries of the world. This is a complex and unpredictable phenomenon of the human being. Tolerance can only be seen in stores when buying different brands, eating fast food or traveling by plane. Managers, sales officers and other service providers are trained on how to tolerate customers, when to smile during payments and how to attract smart and even nice staff. All other sectors of society around the world seem intolerant.
Are we losing faith in ourselves, in others, in everything around us? Why is this happening to us? People have become more and more humane towards themselves. They tolerate and justify all their actions. When it comes to other people, they have become without any tolerance, turning their heads away from suffering and from providing help, justifying themselves by lack of time and resources. The second chance has ceased to exist.
If everyone had the consideration and tolerance for others as they have for themselves, the world would surely look more tolerant, more humane, and humanity would have a chance.
Everything that is uncomfortable, unknown and incomprehensible to a person has become the subject of intolerance. If the behavior of one of our acquaintances is not similar to ours, we do not try to understand why this is so, we are immediately prone to condemnation, criticism and often distancing.
What does tolerance actually mean?
The word “tolerance” has its ancient roots, and comes from the Latin tolerantia: to endure. Tolerance, then, means that you are enduring something that you do not like or are uncomfortable with. From a social standpoint, this means not interfering with your neighbor’s choices, whether it’s their religious beliefs or a preference for social phenomena of which you are not a part.
Intolerance means not suffering what you don’t like and trying to harm it, whether you’re persecuting someone, banning work, or punishing a set of beliefs.
Our societies, both western and eastern, have no tolerance for diversity. We have an opinion on everything. About the choice of our acquaintance’s partner, about raising children, about views of the world. We do not try to understand, and in no way accept differently from us.
We often have the opportunity to see intolerance towards people on the move. In addition to the fact that we are practically not there for them, in the form of help or at least not standing in the way of their dreams for a better life, we can also be an obstacle for them. Disparaging, physical harassment, propaganda, we do a lot to challenge people in the movement, and we can say and forbid their right and dignified life. The worst form is silent observation of suffering and pretending to support them without moving a finger.
Let’s turn around and see countless examples of intolerance towards the other, the different and the unknown.
Tolerance includes respect for individual autonomy – the idea that people’s minds and lives can be different from ours. We may disagree with their practices and beliefs, but we tolerate them, just as we want others to tolerate our own beliefs. It seems simple, and tolerance is difficult both intellectually and emotionally. As a result, people often fail the test of tolerance, whether racial, religious, ethnic or political, which results in chaos and “massacres” in societies.
Pulling the line of what should be tolerated is not always easy. One question that immediately arises is whether ideas that are intolerant should be tolerated. Karl Popper, an influential Austrian philosopher of natural and social sciences, called this challenge the “Paradox of Tolerance” during the rise of authoritarianism in the 1930s and 1940s.
“Unlimited tolerance must lead to the disappearance of tolerance,” he wrote in his 1945 book, Open Society and Its Enemies. “If we extend unlimited tolerance even to those who are intolerant, if we are not ready to defend a tolerant society from the onslaught of the intolerant, then the tolerant will be destroyed, and tolerance with them.”
Aggression, discrimination, bad behavior towards other people is primarily related to negative evaluation. Negative evaluation is the result of a person’s fear of society and a manifestation of his hostility. Each of us is trying to develop a strategy of dealing with others. Such considerations can lead us to take an aggressive or submissive attitude. If I’m stronger than the others, they can’t hurt me. So I have to show my strength and it will make my life easier; or if I continue to avoid people and lock myself in, I will become invisible and will not be able to harm me; or finally, if I submit to others, they will not harm me either. However, such a submissive attitude often leads to aggression. Because intolerance stems from another person’s negative assessment. It is hard to imagine a situation in which we harm a person we consider extraordinary and good. There is a fear that such ethical foundations of evaluation tend toward a certain intellectual freedom that arises from the abstract character of most ethical considerations. One thing is for sure: the main area of negative evaluation that leads to intolerance comes from the difference between “me and you”, “me and them”, “us and them”.
Finally, in order to be tolerant, that is, to accept that people are different, one needs to be able to share the other person’s feelings and concentrate on others, not just on oneself.
As we can meet more and more intolerant people, we can also talk about the phenomenon of social intolerance, which occurs in the form of intolerance towards cultural ideas or ways that are different from our own. It is characterized by the avoidance of examining such ideas (non-examination) and the unwillingness to see any value in them (failure to see well).
We have become inhumane towards man and humanity. We may have forgotten what that means. If we accept the other as different we need to know and be sure that we will not become like him. Because that fear of the unknown and of change is the first reason for our intolerance.
For the development of such great intolerance, fear of the other and different, the pandemic of the corona virus did not stop us. The social recession, produced by the corona, is marked by growing loneliness and isolation with the demand for “social” distance. And long before the new coronavirus separated humans from each other, loneliness was great. In a 2018 survey, the Kaiser Family Foundation / The Economist found that 22 percent of adults in America struggle with loneliness. And this is not unique to the United States. Australia, the United Kingdom, Denmark, the Netherlands and a growing list of other countries, recognizing the deep and widespread problem, have launched anti-loneliness initiatives to educate the public and promote community-building practices. This loneliness, the distance between people is one of the risk factors for tolerance.
War. Poverty. A crime. Hunger. Loneliness. With all the injustices that exist in today’s world, it is easy to lose faith in humanity. We may ask ourselves: Why should we worry if no one else knows? Nothing seems to ever change or improve, so we can accept the world as it is.
While it is important to recognize existing injustices and look at them as serious issues that need to be addressed, it is equally important for us to understand our own insight that these solutions are becoming part of reality. The following quotes about humanity can explain us and hopefully inspire us:
“You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not get dirty. “- Mahatma Gandhi
” To deny people their human rights is to challenge their humanity. “- Nelson Mandela
” Love and compassion are necessary, not luxury products. Without them, humanity cannot survive. “- Dalai Lama
” An individual did not begin to live until it cannot rise above the narrow limits of its individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all mankind. ” – Martin Luther King, Jr.
“What is tolerance?” It is a consequence of humanity. We are all formed from fragility and error; let’s forgive each other’s madness – that is the first law of nature. “- Voltaire
” The world belongs to mankind, not to this leader, to that leader or king or prince or religious leader. The world belongs to mankind. “- The Dalai Lama
” When freedom has no purpose, when it does not want to know anything about the rule of law engraved in men’s hearts and a woman, when she does not listen to the voice of conscience, turns against humanity and society. ” – Pope John Paul II
“One way or another, we must all find what best encourages the flourishing of our humanity in this modern life and dedicate ourselves to it.” – Joseph Campbell
“The only meaning of life is to serve humanity.” – Leo Tolstoy
“In bad circumstances, and that is human heritage, you have to decide that your humanity will not diminish. You have your humanity and you must not allow anything to diminish it. We have a duty to know that we are global citizens. Disasters remind us that we are world citizens, whether we like it or not. “- Maya Angelou
” The purpose of human life is to serve and show compassion and the will to help others. “- Albert Schweitzer
” The greatness of humanity is not in being human, but in being human. “- Mahatma Gandhi
We need to bring humanity back to us Let’s be tolerant When we can justify ourselves again and again, let’s give others a chance Life is short not to help each other We can’t live alone But we can be part of the humanity we want to see