The word tolerance has cropped up in several recent conversations. Interesting that in each conversation the word took on a different connotation.
One group was increasingly distressed by the ‘lack of tolerance’ with anything or anyone different. Unwilling to consider the merit of other options.
Some discussions turned into a round-robin of how individuals interpret the word.
As youngsters, we heard ‘I will not tolerate such behavior.’ Interpretation: Change your ways, or I will change them for you. We hear, ‘she has a high tolerance for pain.’ Our mind goes to a stoic friend. He showed tolerance dealing with the delays. This is a patient person. Susan could not tolerate the medication. She was sensitive to the medication. They tolerated abuse. Injustice. This machine tolerates limited volume. Capacity. The list continues.
Fascinating to note the words used in conjunction with tolerance: Consideration. Change. Stoic. Patience. Sensitive. Injustice. Capacity.
Would using these tolerance words more frequently make a difference? Perhaps: Thank you for your consideration. Maybe it is time for change. Be stoic in acknowledging what’s right. Your patience will be rewarded. I am sensitive to the challenges you face. Continue to fight against injustice. We have the capacity to do more.
As a word tolerance is changeable. As an act, it can be a game-changer.
Thanksgiving: I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought, and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder. G.K. Chesterton