The Secret to Communal Harmony

Tolerance is the willingness to accept behaviour and beliefs that you don’t really agree with. It means attempting to understand the other and his point of view. Today the world is torn apart by people who are incapable of living and letting live. They believe that their point of view is the right one. The inability to tolerate others has brought our world to war. All the great religions preach the virtue of tolerance and yet even the religious fanatics are unable to follow what their religion preaches. Let us take the examples of the two most opposing religions. In Islam the name al- Halῑm or ‘the tolerant’ is one of the names of Allah. In Christianity, Exodus 22:21 says: “Thou shalt neither vex a stranger, nor oppress him: for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt.” It is clear that religions have tried through the centuries to imbibe in man the art of tolerance so that one day mankind may live in peace and harmony. But tolerance doesn’t just mean tolerating other religious beliefs. Not getting into interpersonal conflicts at home or in your work place or in your neighbourhood may sound insignificant but in fact is a very crucial part for the promotion of the normal functioning of a society. It is the peace maintained at these levels that in the end contribute substantially to world peace. In the end the only way to achieve peace is to understand and accept the fact that tolerance is a virtue, it is an art. It doesn’t mean you’ve become the lesser person. It means you have decided to take the high road. Tolerance enlightens you to views and ideologies that are different from your own. It makes your knowledge of the world richer. When you become ready to accept people for who they are and understand them you will experience holistic development. Tolerance is the secret behind every functioning society. It is the sole proprietor of peace and harmony.

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