Make the World a Better Place – Be Tolerant Toward Others
A Brighter World!
Make the World a Better Place
Life is a journey and as we progress along we can, if we are receptive to the acquisition of knowledge, learn important lessons which will contribute to our overall wisdom and maturity making us better people and making the world a better place.
Among the important lessons to be learnt is the value of qualities such as tolerance, compassion, and empathy towards the people with whom we interact on a daily basis and ultimately, to people in general. These virtues seem to be sorely lacking in today’s society as increasingly, humankind seems to be failing in the God-given responsibility to be one another’s keeper. Here are some behaviours we could practice to make the world a better place.
1. Be Supportive
We are called to be supportive of each other, but often, when someone is in a difficult situation, particularly one which attracts public attention; their troubles are magnified by the negative comments that are made, sometimes by the very persons from whom support and understanding are expected. Such insensitivity points to a lack of compassion and understanding for our fellows and does not contribute to constructive living.
Often, we cast judgement on others without much thought of the circumstances which triggered their actions. Critics seldom take the time to consider that there might have been a number of issues over time which could have driven a person into an undesirable situation. They do not pause to reflect on the fact that were they in a similar situation their actions might have been similar, if not worse. Certainly, they seem oblivious of the fact that given the situation, what the ‘offender’ needs at the time is support rather than criticism which might drive them further down the lane to self-destruction.
The grass always appears greener on the other side of the fence. Harper Lee, in his book, 'To Kill a Mockingbird' says that before judging someone else we must “put on the person’s shoes and walk around in them”. This is a valuable piece of advice for those of us who are prone to envy, to casting aspersions or making judgements about others without adequate knowledge of their circumstances.
Examples of this type of behaviour are rife in societies the world over, for regardless of race, class or creed, human behaviour remains similar everywhere. A few scenarios from different aspects of life should suffice to illustrate this point:
2. Be Less Judgmental
So often we hasten to judge others with no knowledge of their circumstances and no consideration for their feelings. For e.g:
- Family Life - Generally, we have preconceived notions of what the ideal family should be like and so we identify in society families which fit the picture that we have in mind. How taken aback and often highly judgmental we become when, out of the blue, we learn that some such family has broken up - the parents are getting divorced and the children are going astray. We are disappointed in them, critical of them, disillusioned by them, maybe even abusive of them. We see them as a lie to our image of the ideal family. But who gave us the right to set high expectations of and standards for them in the first place? We did not know their background, their circumstances; their trials and struggles. We never even wore their shoes far less to walked around in them. We have no right to judge them and if we cannot be of assistance to them, at least we should desist from maligning them!
3. Practice Tolerance
Tolerance is a virtue which if exercised could avoid much of the pain than we cause one another. For instance:
- In the School - Teachers as well as students have a tendency to criticize and label students who have behavioral or learning problems. It is perhaps easier to label them and ignore them than to try to assist them. Nevertheless, students come from varied backgrounds and I have come across those who, before they have even reached their teens have had adult roles and responsibilities thrust upon them by absent, neglectful or ailing parents. Such children find themselves with the responsibility of caring and providing for younger siblings without the requisite knowledge, skills, experience or finances to do so. They find themselves unable to function at school as a result of tiredness, hunger, stress, resentment, insecurity, unhappiness - you name it – all consequences of the responsibilities weighing down on their immature shoulders. And when this happens, their classmates and teachers sometimes, far from showing understanding and compassion, add to their burdens by their attitudes of rejection, scorn, prejudice or apathy.
4. Be Contented With Your Lot
Ambition is good in that it pushes you on to be the best that you can be. However, the type of ambition which kills your conscience, integrity and compassion is bad for humankind. For e.g:
- In the Work Place - We envy persons in our workplace or in other organizations, their positions and the status symbols ( expensive cars and big houses) which they display. If only we knew about their sleepless nights meeting company deadlines, resolving company issues and conflicts. If only we knew the pressures they bore from inconsiderate supervisors/managers or uncooperative and resentful junior staff. If only we knew of their other domestic issues such as marital difficulties and problems with rebellious teenagers to name a few. If only we knew about their personal financial problems such as inability to meet mortgage payments, pay utility and other bills and manage over-commitments incurred to maintain their social status. If only we would realize that we are able to enjoy a good night’s rest 90% of the time while they are able to do so only perhaps 10% of the time. If only we knew how it felt to walk around in their shoes, we would be happier with our simpler, less complicated lifestyles.
5. Be Responsible for Your Own Salvation
We are responsible for the choices that we make an the decisions that we take. We cannot thrust the burden of blame for our actions on others. For instance:
- In the Church/Religious Life - We expect leaders to be infallible and so we threaten to abandon our own Christianity when it is discovered that a pious man of God has fallen into sin. But is his sin corrected by our ceasing to attend church and relinquishing our beliefs? We all have to answer to God for our own transgressions, so while it is true that the Pastor has a responsibility to lead his flock with honesty and piety, each member of the flock also has personal responsibility for his/her own salvation. We may exercise our privilege to join another church, but wherever we go we will always have to answer God for ourselves. We therefore, ought not to allow ourselves to be distracted from the beaten path because a righteous person has fallen and we certainly, must accept the fact that righteous people are just as human, thus wont to err as anyone else.
Enjoy the Journey and Help Someone Else Enjoy it
Make the Best of Life's Journey
Regardless of age, we are all called to offer a sympathetic ear or a sturdy shoulder for a brother, sister, neighbour or friend. We can do that without poking our nose into their affairs. We can do that by being sensitive, understanding and caring. We can do that by remembering that some people wear shoes that hurt and we must know their pain before we judge, castigate or brand them.
Life is indeed a journey! Hence, let me end with the well-known saying, “we shall pass this way but once...” so that we are reminded that we all need to make the best of the journey not just for our own personal fulfillment, but for the benefit of the brothers and sisters with whom we share this beautiful world.
Your Effort Will Count in Making the World Better
Do you believe that you can make the world a better place by being more tolerant toward others?See results without voting
- Travelling the Journey of Life
Life is a journey. We must all try to make this journey count for something for we were not brought into this world to be just another statistic, but to impact the lives of others meaningfully.
- My Thoughts on Climbing the Ladder of Success
It is possible for everyone to achieve success in their given field of endeavor. However, for this to happen, they must first recognize their ambitions, then plan the path or ladder to their success.
- Adult Education in a Changing World
Adult education offers adult learners the opportunity to experience personal and professional development, to enhance their marketability and to participate meaningfully in all aspects of life.
- Youth in Today's Society
We cannot continue to blame the youth for the problems in modern society. “Children learn what they live and they live what they learn” (Dorothy Law Neite), hence adults must model correct behaviors.
- Gender Based Violence - A Global Pandemic
Gender based violence is a severe violation of human rights. It traverses age, class, income and cultural boundaries, invading and compromising the fundamental rights and freedoms of victims.
Life Lessons Hubs
- Tough Love - Mould Children into Responsible Adults
Discipline is an essential element in raising children successfully; however, it can only be effective if administered correctly. That is; through the correct blend of consistency, fairness and love.
- Job Satisfaction: High Quality Work Pays Off in the ...
A good salary is the No.1 factor in job motivation for generally, people want to work where the pay is best. However, regardless of the circumstances, a good worker always aims to give his/her best
- Ageing - The Process
Ageing can be dignifying and gratifying if you have lived a fulfilling life and are prepared for the ageing process. However, it can be earth shattering when it catches you unprepared.
- CHANGING JOBS: When is the Right Time to Change?
Change is inevitable; it is an integral aspect of living and should be embraced if there is the possibility that it will provide opportunities which will enhance your quality of life.
- CHANGE - A Positive Perspective
Change is inevitable; it is an integral aspect of living and should not be resisted if there is the possibility that it can bring positive outcomes in one’s life.
- Being a Teacher - The Human Dimension
Children must be nurtured into becoming productive world citizens. If as teachers we do not possess attributes such as compassion and love we do injustice to the children whom we are mandated to mold
More by this Author
I have developed this three-part Poetry Tutorial to assist students and teachers in analyzing poetry. Tutorial 1 will examine structural devices used in poetry.
When describing it is important that you engage the reader fully by making him see, hear, feel, taste and/or smell that which you are describing; you should use language which appeals to the senses.
There are many factors which influence student motivation; these include school as well as non school factors. Students bring to the classroom varying types of extrinsic motivation.