Tolerance vs Love
I like words with meaning. Words that wrap around your tongue and occupy your mind at the same time. Our culture doesn’t seem to give much thought to words and the power that they have. Words are thoughtlessly thrown around as if they make no difference, and then when they do damage bigger words are piled on top either to justify or muffle the pain that is caused. Worst of all, the very definitions of words are changed to justify peoples’ self-interests rather than to shed light on Truth.
Take the word tolerance for example. Tolerance is the new Love. The biggest sin you can have these days is to be “intolerant”. In fact, the PC Police will hammer you if you voice an opinion that appears to be “intolerant” of someone else’s choices or lifestyle. Being of a different opinion means you don’t love or respect them. You are evil!
But if you value tolerance, shouldn’t you welcome those who aren’t tolerant to demonstrate the better way? That’s not the way it works. Instead we get the Tyranny of Tolerance, which simply means the tolerant people tolerate everyone – but the intolerant! How can this be?
This reminds me of the religious debate between those who claim there are many paths to God versus those who claim there is only one path to God. On the surface it appears that the “many paths” people are very inclusive, which is good, right? How arrogant are those exclusive “one path” people anyway. Of course the irony is the “many paths” people are just as exclusive – they exclude the “one path” folks. Dare I say it, the “many paths” people are just downright intolerant of the “one path” people!
So what is the difference between tolerance and love? Try this on for size. Should you tolerate your kids, or should you love them? Should you tolerate your coworkers, or should you love them? Should you tolerate your neighbor, or should you love them?
Tolerance means you pretty much let other people do whatever they want – as long as it doesn’t bother you. Tolerance is a very self-centered world view. People who value it too highly do so because they don’t want to be told that what they are doing isn’t good for them or for society. Being tolerant means you turn your back so that you don’t have to take personal risk.
Love is the opposite. Love is when you put yourself on the line and sacrifice your self-interest for the sake of someone else. Love means taking a risk and telling someone that what they are doing is going to harm them, even though you are likely to be attacked for doing so. Love means warning others about consequences, tolerance means keeping your mouth shut.