” The highest result of education is tolerance ” Helen Keller

As I enter the New Year 2014, my heart is filled with optimism and joy.

I look around and see a world where technology and the social media are dominating our lives.

Established ideas covering every spectrum of life are being reevaluated. Institutions are now being forced to reexamine their core beliefs just as individuals are being forced to do the same.

Subjects that were once taboo to discuss are now being discussed.

Laws are now being considered and/or passed that would not have been possible years ago.

It is a time of great uncertainty and upheaval as well as a time of great excitement.

One thing is for sure – our world will never be the same as it once was.

During these challenging times, there is one quality that is necessary if mankind is to co-exist in peace and harmony. That quality is tolerance.

We all need to be more tolerant of others and of ourselves if we are to successfully adapt to all of life’s vagaries.

Therefore, tolerance has a direct impact on our personal development.

Definition of Tolerance

Wikipedia defines tolerance as ” tolerance is a fair, objective, and permissive attitude toward those whose  opinions, practices, race, religion, nationality, etc., differ from one’s own; freedom from bigotry”

Understanding Intolerance

We all come from different cultures and backgrounds and our beliefs and core values have been directly influenced by our parents and others as well. Many of our parents and/or friends beliefs were also influenced by their parents.

If our parents tend to have intolerant beliefs, then there is a greater likelihood that their child  will have those same prejudices. They will think they are right because it was the only way they were taught to believe.

It is very difficult to overcome intolerance but it can be achieved.

One of the best ways for  people to become more tolerant is through education (whether informal or formal) . Education should free our minds of irrationality and bigotry by allowing us to reexamine our basic fundamental premises. Education forces us to ask questions. Asking questions is one of the most powerful processes we can use to grow as individuals. In personal development asking questions is essential to personal growth. In addition, exposure to those who differ from ourselves can result in greater acceptance and understanding

Characteristics of Tolerance

  • Have an Open Mind – people who are tolerant will look at people and situations with an open mind. They won’t make snap decisions and judge someone harshly just because their beliefs are different from their own. Instead they are flexible enough to see  things from the other person’s perspective.
  • Use Logic over Emotion -people  who are tolerant when evaluating a person or situation will  employ logic to understand another person rather than letting their emotions dictate the outcome.
  • Exercise Good Judgment -people who are tolerant must also understand that if someone’s beliefs are different than yours, that is fine up to a point. However, if that person’s core values involve harming someone, that is where a tolerant person must draw the line.


Tolerance is one of the key qualities everyone should employ in their personal and professional life.

Promoting tolerance further enhances harmony and unification in our world and allows us to lead a more fulfilling  and productive life. Tolerance plays a significant role in our personal development.

Try to emulate  the above listed characteristics of tolerance,

About the author: Bob

Bob is a businessman, athlete, and entrepreneur who is passionate about helping people progress personally through better self-awareness.


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