Tag Archive | tolerance

The World is not Black and White

untitledGod grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

Everyone is different.

There are some differences that are simple. Some are more complex.
There are differences that are tied to self-identity. Sexual orientation, race, age, sex, background and interests. When someone has a problem with differences in these areas, it is often something that runs deep in their upbringing and is very hard to change.
Accepting differences can be difficult at times – yet – respecting others for their differences in necessary.

Why do we want everything to be our way? Because we’re human and selfish. But to progress and survive in a society, we need to be tolerant of each other, whatever the other person believes in, as far as religion or any other matter is concerned, is individual choice. The world is not black and white, and the sooner we realise that, the sooner will we see progression in our societies, and who knows, perhaps even world peace.

People are so busy disliking each other’s ways of life, that all they do is point fingers at how wrong others are, and all the positive and creative energy that the Universe has endowed us with goes to waste.People get distanced from each other due to intolerance; and when they don’t unite to work towards their betterment and that of others, the society plunges into darkness and despair. No one want to help or like anyone who does not conform to his or her own specific standards of piety or correctness.

This self-righteous attitude has never brought people together as it hurts the feelings of those who do not believe what others want them to believe. It is indeed a sad state of affairs when everyone feels they are right and others are wrong and deserves to be disrespected. If animals can live together in a jungle and respect each others rights and territories and only kill for survival, why can’t we humans, who are the most supreme species learn to live with each other in peace and harmony?

Maybe I’m writing this post after reading and watching of the horrific civilian attack in Nairobi over the weekend, I was appalled! As human beings , we are born with a free will, and have the right to choose what religion or persons we want to be associated with. If one thinks one is following the right and true path, the way to make others agree is to be an exemplary human being or try to be, so that others will automatically want to be like you. They will reform or change their opinions without one having to insult, criticize or kill for that matter.

In today’s fast changing and globally shrinking world in which different races, religions and cultures have to interact on a day-to-day basis, the only way to exist in peace is to accept and tolerate differences.

I Heart Change

Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.” — John F. Kennedy

 
Here’s the reality of it; you can love change  or hate it, fight it or embrace it, it’s going to happen with or without your approval.
Simply put, change is the “process of becoming different” it can be in the form of a new baby, changing careers, moving to a new city, the loss of a loved one, just to name a few. Be it positive or negative, there will always be the sense of unknown.

 
It’s been said that the only constant in our world today is change! Most of us resist it, because we are comfortable and secure in our world as we know it. And yet, if change is an inevitable reality of life (and it is), then we’d better be prepared to respond when the unexpected comes knocking on our door.

 
Not every person has the same tolerance to risk. Some adventurous souls actually relish the adventure of new situations. Others like their life exactly as it is: nice and predictable. For these people, the idea of change produces fear.

I recall having a conversation with an acquaintance about a month before I married my soul mate, Mr. M (that’s what I’ll refer hubby to on my blog). He heard I was getting married the following month after dating Mr. M for just nine months! (Yip nine months) And he said to me, (words I’ll never forget) “You never miss an opportunity, do you?” And I looked at him and said, “No, I don’t, and I am not afraid of change!” But after growing up in a small town, getting married would mean having to move to Jo’burg, (Mr. M’s hometown) 180km from home! It was exciting, but at the same time scary, would I find a job? Would I make new friends? And it was then I realized that I heart change! It keeps me alive, fueled, and ready for anything and everything!

From past experiences involving change, this is what I’ve observed;
It always seems bigger than it really is. We’re human, (and worse women!) We tend to over-think, over-analyze, and almost always expect the worse, and once we’ve passed the particular “stage” we look back and say “Oh? That wasn’t as bad as I thought”. Best way to deal with it; take it one day at a time, step by step

 
Change creates unwanted stress. That’s a known fact. And no two people deals with stress the same way. So now you not only have to deal with this “change” but also the stress that comes with it. If you’re in a marriage or relationship, you need to understand one another’s stress reactions and this will enable you to work together more effectively. Times of intense pressure can either pull you together or push you apart. Stress will come, and you need to ensure that it does not divide and conquer.

 
Life doesn’t always follow the plan that you may have had laid out for yourself. However, opportunities often present themselves in unexpected ways—learn to recognize and take advantage of these opportunities even if they were not part of your initial plan.

Focus is the next principle on dealing with change. When a transition in your life occurs, be sure to keep your thoughts on what you can control. Certain aspects of your life may operate outside of your control.
You have the opportunity to choose a perspective about change; is it overwhelming and stressful, or exciting and fun?

 
“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” Reinhold Niebuhr

images: Google.com

The World can be a Better Place

“Without respect for people of different races or ethnicities or religions, how can we have a peaceful and harmonious society or world? And without a harmonious society, how can there be the necessary economic development and atmosphere conducive to spiritual happiness and self-realization?” Jagad Guru
After the recent events around the blasphemous film (which I have not seen) depicting the Prophet Muhammad (SAW), I found it necessary to share my thoughts and feelings.
(Please note that this is entirely my opinion)

So, I like a silver car, you like red, I prefer white bread, you prefer brown. I’m an evening person, you’re a morning person. These are the kind of differences that we have as people and need to accept it. And we do, most of the time anyway. So why is it so much more difficult when it comes to accepting the beliefs, religion, way of life, faith, (whatever you want to call it) of others?
Religion can be a touchy subject, a taboo. However, the fact that it is taboo needs to be addressed. Belief, whether in religion or science, is a concept that should be respected and admired in us as humans, not something used as a tool for persecution.
As a woman of Islamic faith, born into a marriage of interfaith, (where my dad’s born Muslim, and my mum reverted to Islam from Hinduism), I feel that I have gained something that not many people have, and that is exposure.
I have had the freedom of being able to practice my religion, but at the same time be exposed to other religions as a result of having family and friends with other beliefs. If I have to single out one valuable lesson that I’ve learned from my parents; it would have to be respect! Respect for others beliefs, culture, traditions and race.

We must begin to reach common ground, where we can all believe as we wish without fear of discrimination. There is no justification for trying to oppress any religion or lack of religion, for that matter. A lack of religion is another aspect of the issue that needs addressing. There is nothing wrong with a lack of religion, just as there is nothing wrong with believing in any religion. The only wrong in the equation is the intolerance between belief systems.

In a perfect world, we would all have the freedom to believe as we wished or not at all, if that was our choice. To grow closer to that ideal, we have to make the first step and stop our discrimination of other beliefs, so they can grow in their tolerance of us in turn. This wouldn’t be easy, but it’s vital. The religious must stop trying to prove that their belief is the only way, while the ones who don’t believe in much must stop trying to prove that religion is a lie.
Why is it so difficult for us to reach a common ground? Religion should be something worth respecting and valuing, not a tool for mockery.
How can we expect tolerance of our faith when we cannot be tolerant of the faith of others? Tolerance is a two-way street; we cannot expect to change or fix anything when all we do is demand respect for our views.
This unfortunately is one of those issues that are not going away anytime soon. Perhaps one day, we will all be able to live in this world in peace and harmony.

I believe that the world can be a better place.