The Virtue of Tolerance
If you’ve read my book Homeless to Billionaire: The 18 Principles of Wealth Attraction and Creating Unlimited Opportunity, you would know how much I value a harmonious work environment that is free from all types of negativity, whether it is gossip and jealousy or un-constructive criticism. Over the years, I have actively tried to promote positivity in my companies. I try my best to give compliments and rewards generously. I give recognition to my employees who are proactively taking steps to become better at what they do, even though they may not be where they want to be just yet. Every year, I bring my best-performing employees on adventures across the world so that they can learn to get along with their colleagues and have a once-in-a-lifetime experience at the same time.
After all my efforts, I have realized that there is one important ingredient that trumps all others when it comes to nurturing a healthy work environment—tolerance.
What is tolerance?
According to the Cambridge Dictionary, tolerance is the willingness to accept behavior and beliefs that are different from your own, although you might not agree with or approve of them.
You may think that tolerance is common courtesy, and so, naturally, everyone has this trait. Unfortunately, that is not the case. If you look closely, you might see signs of intolerance on a day-to-day basis.
Not so long ago, the popular talk show host Ellen DeGeneres was spotted hanging out with the former U.S. President George W. Bush at a football game in Dallas. This caused Twitter users to go into a frenzy as many criticized DeGeneres for spending time with Bush, a conservative Republican who seems to oppose almost everything DeGeneres stands for.
Do you know how DeGeneres responded to the controversy? She said, “I’m friends with George Bush. In fact, I’m friends with a lot of people who don’t share the same beliefs that I have… But just because I don’t agree with someone on everything doesn’t mean that I’m not going to be friends with them. When I say, ‘Be kind to one another,’ I don’t only mean the people that think the same way that you do. I mean, be kind to everyone.”
The fact that many people were intolerant towards DeGeneres’ tolerance of others’ opinions goes to show just how intolerant we, as a community, can be. If anything, we should strive to be more like DeGeneres.
Why should we be more tolerant?
- Tolerance allows people from different walks of life to co-exist together peacefully, creating unity.
- Being tolerant of differences creates a learning opportunity as you explore different cultures and ways of thinking.
- You learn to articulate your thoughts and ideas better by explaining them to people who do not always think the way that you do.
- You practice respect and patience, which are two virtues that make you a better person.
- By being tolerant, you rid yourself of negativity and proactively strive for positivity.
There are many benefits to being tolerant that positively impact the workplace and society as a whole. We should all take time to reflect upon and review our values and behavior and treat others just as we want to be treated. After all, tolerance leads to acceptance.