When Tolerance Is Not Tolerable

How often do we hear that we need to be more tolerant? Tolerant regarding other people’s opinions, way of living, and decisions. And, of course, it goes further than being tolerant regarding different cultures or religions, races, and LGBTYQIA+. But is becoming more tolerant a good idea? It made me think about the meaning of tolerance.

I found this definition that pretty much says how I interpreted the word:Β “the ability or willingness to tolerate the existence of opinions or behavior that one dislikes or disagrees with.”Β So, this means that tolerance is the wrong denomination when we look at what I listed in the previous paragraph. In fact, this is an arrogant attitude that lifts the person who tolerates above what they tolerate. Tolerance does not change the attitude but even defends it and says: “I let you do the wrong thing.”

No, what we need is a natural and reflexive openness. It is a combination of acceptance and respect, empathy, and the understanding that differences are the commonalities. If there was only one color in this world, there were no paintings. If there was only one pitch in this world, there was no music. If there was only one smell in this world, food was only a necessary way of keeping the body alive. The differences bring joy, inspire, widen the horizons, create progress, and fill our lives with endless content.

Now, if we think of one word that sums up everything, it is love. Love includes everything, such as respect, acceptance, compassion, support, and non-judgment. Love does not need tolerance because, for love, it is undoubtedly clear that everyone is as they should be in order to create a great whole. We can be tolerant when it comes to small mistakes, when a teenager has struck a wrong note, or when we were treated unfairly. But in my opinion, tolerance is intolerable when it comes to the composition of an individual.

Love doesn’t need anything.
Love doesn’t need to differ.
Love unites.
Love simply is

In Love and Light

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The purpose of my blog is to inspire and shine a light on the beauty and power of the wonderful being inside your body. You came into this world to share what only you can give. Remember who you really are, conquer the world the way you always wanted to, and become the blessing to us all that you were meant to be.




Hi Erika

Thanks for your thoughts on this interesting subject!

To me tolerance is very important because intolerance is unkind. And I think that even if we are completely tolerant towards everything and everyone, we are still able to speak our minds and tell the truth as we see it.

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Thank you very much for stopping by. I see your point.
As I wrote in my post, it depends on what we are tolerant of. Tolerance is accepting something we think is not quite right. So, that’s why tolerance can turn into some kind of arrogance or is fear in disguise. If we are open minded towards everyone, welcomiong people just the way they are without judging them, tolerance is not even needed anymore.
Thanks again for visiting and leaving this interesting comment.

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Thanks for your reply Erika, I think I get what you mean and I appreciate your perspective even if I see things differently.

Yes, tolerance implies accepting something unpleasant or disagreeable. It’s like patience, right? If everything and everyone were pleasant and loveable, there was no need for tolerance or patience but that’s out the question. Unfortunately life and people are not that pleasant all the time πŸ˜‚

Therefore as I see it, we need tolerance and patience.

Of course we are not supposed to hide behind that, using it as an excuse for inaction or indifference, but I think that if we do so, then the problem is not really tolerance but for instance lack of courage

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Yes, yes, I totally agree. That’s why I say there are two sides. Tolerance is needed when we consciously step back for the support or the well-being of others. We do need tolerance, absolutely. Like with many other things, it depends on the intention that lies behind or, as you said, using it as an excuse.
Thank you so much for your reply and that you took the time to deal with this matter. I do appreciate it, Jens.

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True love is unconditional, the other variety is us learning and understanding it. Hence our little journey down here. Great post Erika, your learning very well πŸ˜€ ❀️ πŸ™πŸ½

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I don’t think we ever do while down here, there is a constant barrage of the ‘conditional love’. Mind you I’m finding that as I ‘let go’ in my understanding, less comes knocking on my door. So maybe there will be a time when we just ‘be’ and just appreciate what we have found…unconditionally πŸ˜€ ❀️ πŸ™πŸ½

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As Abraham says “You never get it done”. So why stressing ourselves out. And in letting everything just flow we find a better way to insights and awareness anyway. It will come when it will come by then we follow our inner voice and the signs of the universe… and remind ourselves that only love can heal and bring the greatest breakthroughs πŸ’–

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Exactly, I just said to Keith that tolerance is often misused for being afraid of doing the right thing. Love instead has that power and is never afraid to go for the needs and rights of humanity.


Erika, our blogging friend Roger likes to say being tolerant does not mean you necessarily tolerate the intolerant. Using an extreme example, should you tolerate a white supremacist spewing hate and promoting violence? Keith

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Exactly, Keith. I think tolerance is often also misused for being afraid to stand up against someone. So, tolerating something always has a stale aftertaste for me. Thanks a lot, Keith.

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As in many of my comments to Posts of this nature, I keep coming back to two humane basic qualities which resolve so many of life’s issues ………… Compassion and Understanding or, as you (Erika) so clearly said it … Love!

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I completely agree, Colin. Compassion and understanding (as aspects of love) are essential to having a world in which everybody may feel at home. Thank you very much for always stopping by. You know, I appreciate it very much.

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