Thursday, April 19, 2018

Conditions On Being Tolerant and Loving

Written By Don Shetterly
These days, I get so tired of seeing this on display.  In social media, we wear it as a badge.  I'm talking about how we say and preach one thing to the world while doing the opposite with our actions.

We say we are tolerant and loving, but then we put conditions on it.  Of course, we don't acknowledge that, and if someone pointed it out, we'd dismiss them quickly.

We think it is everyone else.  Those who disagree that are not tolerant and loving.  We've got such a big log in our own eye that we cannot even begin to see this in our personal life.  It is everyone else that has the problem, not us.  We're self-righteous and holier than thou.

We exclaim, we're telling it like it is or we claim that somehow we take the superior high ground because we're enlightened.  It doesn't matter which side of this you are on because we all do it every day.  If you don't believe me, show your social media feed to a young child, and I bet they can point out the hypocrisy quickly.

We go to our churches, and we claim how full of love and righteousness we are, but we don't stop to know ourselves.  We don't stop to look at ourselves and see what is within us.  If you don't go to church, there's a good chance you use some other belief system to do the same thing.

Then we point fingers at one another.  We have to tell others just how wrong they are.  After all, we are tolerant and loving.  We just gloss over the conditions because we are so self-righteous.

Growing up, we were in one of these ultra-religious churches that stated bluntly if you did not believe the way they believed, you weren't going to heaven.  There were a lot of other "beliefs" that they taught that I've written about before on another blog post.  It took me many years to let go of that brainwashing hatred for others that were different than us.

Most of the people outside of that church were much more tolerant.  I didn't hear politics discussed or hatred towards gays.  They were down to earth peace loving people that were fun to be around.  I admired and respected them.

Now, however, when I go view some of the stuff on their social media pages (next to the things about how much they are tolerant and loving), I see some of the vilest hatred that exists.  How can people not see what they are doing?  If you say one thing, but do another, your words mean nothing.  Your actions tell the real story.

These days we are so consumed with things that have knocked this entire planet so far off its course, we cannot even see it on display.  We're so numb and disconnected and unconscious that basic decency and respect for one another is something from prehistoric times.

No, it's not the other people that do this in the world that is the problem.  You can't control them.  The only person you can control is yourself and whether you engage and propagate the hatred and divisiveness or you walk away from it.  That's a choice you make each day.

So when you claim you are tolerant and loving, make sure you're choosing something that matches that.  If your rhetoric and social media feed say the opposite, it might be time to have a hard look at what is within your heart.  For what lies in your heart is showing the entire world what that is.

Tolerant and loving people show it through all aspects of their lives.  It isn't just the words you say, or share and likes.  It isn't the retweets and screaming.  It is pure love that treats each other as human, not as something less than ourselves.  It is your heart in action and your ego filtered with respect.

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