Can You Always Be True To Yourself?

Differences exist among every individual and in every society, and in one way or the other. The realization of difference requires tolerance. With tolerance comes moderation and self-control. The need to accommodate difference will certainly not give us the ability to express our heart’s desires to the fullest. If you are rich, you don’t want to tell everyone you meet about how you have lots and lots of diamonds. If you are religious, you don’t want to offer to pray with a friend/someone who you do not know much about. If you are a very achieving student, it will be wise that you do not brag too much about your scholarships and other accolades to a student who you know is struggling with his/her academics. It is good to note again that tolerance requires moderation. You can imply that you are rich, smart or religious without sparking jealousy, disgust or envy, through moderation. Don’t say too much. For example, “I love wearing diamonds” – Full stop. There is no need to give an exact amount of how many you have, and also, there is no need to give information on how you got them. Tolerance has a huge role to play in terms of managing difference. It helps us respect the choices that people have made for themselves though they might be different from ours. Also, tolerance provides great immunity to unmoderated comments and attitudes. I have had real life experiences with intolerance: I live in Canada. I have lived here for nearly 3 years, and I have noticed that not everyone associates with religion (pretty much the opposite of my country, Nigeria), and I have also heard people make fun of others’ religion. I find such acts really irritating and unnecessary. Anyway, after making that observation, I tried to limit using such statements as the following in my conversations with people who I don’t know too well – “my friend from church”, “when I came back from church”. However, I was determined to not fully compromise one of the things that means a lot to me because of people’s perceptions. Thus, I decided that I have to feel free to use such statements as those I tried to stop using above, without going into too much details. In most parts of Nigeria, you can easily mention that you practice either Christianity or Islam, to anyone. However, beyond those two religions, no other beliefs or the lack there of are accepted. Tolerance is extremely valid. It enables us to accept others totally and even learn more about them and why they act in certain ways, why they have certain beliefs, preferences e.t.c. Understanding difference helps us to be moderate in our relationships with people. It will help us to determine what to say, when to say it, how it say it and whether or not to say what we want to say.

My Questions For You

– What are those things that you try not to bring up in your conversations with people that you do not know too well?

– Is there a particular area of your life where you feel that tolerance is needed?  



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