16 Nov will be observed as World Tolerance day and not many are aware of this. Much is made of friendship day and Valentines Day but there is no hype about Tolerance which the world lacks. Open the newspaper everyday or switch on the news channels or watch the daily soaps…all you come across is road rage… murders…family squabbles…arson and disharmony. What is the cause of this? Intolerance.
Intolerance stems from selfishness. In a I-Me-Mine world, everyone wants to grab for themselves. You can see this increasingly on the roads.With more and more cars hogging the roads, those who drive them have little concern for rules or regulations. They are only interested in reaching their destination. This leads to road rage which has recently resulted in stabbing and killing. Considering that car owners are of a certain economic strata and hopefully educated enough to get there, one is surprised at this attitude of intolerance.
Family feuds are on the increase too. Civil courts are witness to many property wrangles, bringing siblings to breaking relationships…all for brick and mortar. The sanctity of brotherhood/sisterhood is on the vane and the ones who are benefiting are the greedy lawyers who only fuel the feuds instead of bringing any harmony to the warring parties.
Married couples are going for divorce within a couple of months after tying the knot due to a low threshold of tolerance of each others weaknesses. Economic independence and support of families, encourages them to walk out of wedlock. Parents, instead of counseling the children to strike a balance, assert their right and make it an ego issue.
Religious differences are looming large. In this age of Science and Technology, it is a pity that there is so much of racial, religious and gender intolerance. Communal riots, terrorism and religious wars are more now than we read in history books.
What is the way out of all this? Spirituality. All it means is Tolerance. We need to recognize that we all belong to this universe and share the same sky, water (despite water issues) air and Mother earth.Geographical boundaries are there only to make governance easy-not to build barriers. We all have a right to take care of our interests and do what we like. But it need not be at the cost of trampling on the next person’s toes and hurting him.
Just for a minute, let us take stock of our spirituality quotient. Next time we get mad or irritated at the driver in front or at the spouse who spills coffee on the rug or at the sibling who wants a bigger slice of the cake, let us close our eyes and meditate on who we are. Are we the Divine or the Demonic replica? Once we tap the Divine in us, it is easy to tolerate the pinpricks of life. Let us choose to Love instead of hate
As Eric Hoffer says-
The remarkable thing is that we really love our neighbor as ourselves: we do unto others as we do unto ourselves. We hate others when we hate ourselves. We are tolerant toward others when we tolerate ourselves. We forgive others when we forgive ourselves. We are prone to sacrifice others when we are ready to sacrifice ourselves.