by: Don G / @lbdStreetFashion
You have to be able to accept others’ differences and experiences.
Sometimes it can be difficult to tolerate other’s opinions, especially about subjects you have strong feelings for. Your mindset over these differences plays a major part in how you approach sensitive topics. Taking control over your tolerance makes you more aware and less sensitive to other people’s influence over you.
America is the great “melting pot.” It’s society was founded on tolerance of differences in cultural heritage, beliefs, and freedom from religious persecution. People from all over the world come to America to live and work. They bring new ideas and enrich our diverse culture. Their differences (diversity) and experiences have become our nation’s greatest strengths.
We live in an increasingly diverse society. From the classrooms, to the offices where we work we interact with people of differing religions, ethnicities, and cultures that reflect the diversity of communities where we live .
Some people welcome the fact that we live in an increasingly diverse society. Others may feel more hesitant, especially if they haven’t had much exposure to people different from themselves.
Mastering tolerance is important not just because it helps us connect to our heritage, learning to be open to differences also opens more opportunities in every aspect of one’s life.
I view tolerance as the opposite of prejudice. It doesn’t just refer only to ethnic and religious differences. It can also be applied to people with physical and intellectual disabilities, gender differences, cultural gaps, and stereotypes.
Tolerance is the state of tolerating, or the ability to put up with something, conditionally. It refers to an attitude of openness and respect for the differences that exist among people. Your success depends on it. Success in today’s world — and tomorrow’s — depends on being able to understand, appreciate, and work with others.
Tolerance is truly mastered when you learn to appreciate its use in subtle ways. Begin by purposely shaping your values in a way that accepts people for who they are and treat them the way you would want to be treated.
When you demonstrate (or model) tolerance in your everyday life it sends a powerful message to those around you about your character and as a result, influences them to also appreciate differences, too.
Master Move Action Steps:
- Be aware of your own attitudes. Learn to be sensitive to cultural stereotypes and make an effort to correct them. Maintain an attitude of respect for others.
- People are always listening. Be aware of the way you talk about people who are different from yourself. Don’t tell a joke if it perpetuates stereotypes. They might appear harmless, but they inflict damage to how others perceive you.
- Be aware of the content you leisurely consume. Media, music, and pop culture have a powerful effect on shaping attitudes so limit your exposure to things that can influence your attitude towards others.
- Address differences honestly and respectfully. It’s okay to notice and discuss differences as long as it’s done with respect.
- Acknowledge and respect differences within your own family. Value the uniqueness of each member of your family and make an effort to demonstrate tolerance of those differences.
- Never tolerate unacceptable behavior. Everyone deserves to be treated with respect, but not at the expense of mistreatment from others. When someone is acting in an unacceptable manner, correct them or remove them from your sphere of influence.
- Help others feel good about themselves. People who feel badly about themselves often treat others badly. People with strong self-esteem value and respect themselves usually treat others with respect, too. Help those in your sphere of influence feel accepted, respected, and valued.
- Appreciate the differences of others. Make an effort to work and play with others who are different from you. Look for intramural sports clubs, fraternal associations, and social groups that allow you to meet and interact with people who are different from you.
As you begin to incorporate this master move into you daily life you will begin to notice that the more comfortable you feel with yourself and your opinions, the less defensive you will feel about the differences of others. Your worldview will become less threaten by your new way of seeing the world. Mastering tolerance will shape your expectations and create more positive exchanges with people different from you.