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"Tolerance" vs. Compassion

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    "Tolerance" vs. Compassion

    The ideal of 'tolerance' is unrealistic. Society has to have standards. The standards can be arbitrary, different in each society, but some standard must exist for society to retain integrity. This is why human creatures have shame - it's an automatic mechanism which prevents us from defecating in the streets, calling out obscenities and destroying things we don't like.

    Naturally, some people to push against the status quo, which is good - as it invites a constant evolution of standards. A healthy society welcomes this. And for this to happen, there also has to be someone upholding the standards. But claiming this is happening in the name of 'tolerance' is bullshit, because those pushing against the status quo are not tolerating the standards.

    It would be more honest to focus on compassion on an individual level. People should not roll over and 'tolerate' what they see as injustice, or society would collapse. But being compassionate toward an individual despite disagreements is the key to a healthy society. Even being compassionate to criminals, while still serving justice.

    Teaching children compassion is the answer, not teaching them tolerance. Because this lesson of tolerance is wrapped in a box which tells you what to tolerate and what not to tolerate. It simply is not what it claims to be. And people catch on. Compassion, however, is undeniably real - a human recognizing another human's humanity. There is no ideology that can undercut the impact of this.

    Speaking for myself, when I say "tolerance", I mean "I'm choosing to tolerate you, but don't push your luck". acceptance means respect and unconditional cooperation. "tolerance" means that cooperation is a privilege that can be lost if people misbehave or cross boundaries.


      Interesting post.

      Can I just be clear, what is your personal definition of tolerance?

      I think society has got to exercise some level of tolerance to be able to attempt to navigate around tricky differences in culture. I am NOT a cultural relativist: there are some cultures that are just vastly superior to others. But having said that, those that exhibit behaviours of an inferior culture need tolerance on my behalf so they can go about their normal day.

      For instance, some cultures like to blast their call to prayer over megaphones even in societies that are multi-cultured. There is no amount of compassion on earth that I could muster to understand why some random dude's voice is bellowing through my house at 4:30am because one house 3 doors down wants to go for a morning prayer.

      However, I could tolerate it under certain conditions: 1) the noise is kept at a minimum and 2) it blares during sociable hours of 9am-5pm.

      I hope the difference in that example is clear.

      On the other hand, you raise a mighty fine point about compassion.

      I'm not a very compassionate person. It does not come naturally to me. I'm more of a tit-for-tat, an eye for an eye kinda person.

      However, a few months ago I was having a discussion with a friend, and he rightly said that, "there is no true justice without compassion, and no true compassion without justice." Blew. My. Fucking. Mind. Let me tell you.

      And I agree with him. Compassion certainly has it's place in society, and for me, its place is right beside Justice.

      On that note, for those of us who are more religiously inclined.... it pays to practise compassion because if you want God to be merciful and compassionate to you on Judgement day, you better practise that here on Earth before then.

      Hope that all made sense


      • DAPHNE XO
        DAPHNE XO commented
        Editing a comment
        Oh Animal, the way you express yourself so passionately and unapologetically is an absolute breath of fresh air. And I completely agree with you
        On the subject of healthcare - I think it comes from another confounding problem which is some people think they have a universal "right" to healthcare which is fucking ridiculous for a multitude of reasons, least of all it's not practical and it's impossibly expensive. Let me make a post on the issue of Rights vs Duties and to what extent a society is obliged to cater to the needs of a minority.
        <3 you x

      • Animal
        Animal commented
        Editing a comment
        <3 you!!! I miss these talks! <3 <3

      • Animal
        Animal commented
        Editing a comment
        Hehe, I've become a lot more 'unapologetic' every year. Being polite didn't work. At this point if they ever understand the truth about their bullshit policies and ideas, it will be because those of us who see through it have [verbally] beaten them over the head with a brick hammer.

        .... needless to say, I am attacking the IDEA, not the people. They are victims of the media, schools and elites, which isn't their fault. I've decided over time that it's more *compassionate* to be frank with them.