My last blog post titled “Common Courtesy and Respect“ had to do with not enough people showing common courtesy and respect for others around them. On the flip side of that is people also having less tolerance and patience for others. I see this in my immediate family on a regular basis. Almost every conflict between any two of my kids can be defined as one of them instigating somehow and the other overreacting. Even though I point this out all the time, it doesn’t seem like either participant is willing or able to not instigate or overreact the next time so that the conflicts don’t continue to occur or escalate. It is very hard to not do something that you have always done. I am hoping to break these habits now, because I don’t want them to grow up and be adults who are very intolerant and impatient.
Road rage comes to mind when I think of this topic. Not only are there plenty of people who are not courteous drivers who often drive like they own the road, but there are also plenty of drivers who get very impatient way too quickly and don’t hesitate to express their frustrations. Sometimes they are even willing to risk theirs and others’ lives in the process. The thing is, I think there is a lot of overlap in these groups of people, which leads me back to a previous post about double standards called “Make Up Your Mind.” You can’t be intolerant of others who inconvenience you when you don’t hesitate to inconvenience others.
A father getting shot and killed in a movie theater because he was texting his babysitter during the previews is another example that comes to mind of pretty extreme intolerance. I’m sure there are plenty more I could come up with that have been in the news recently if I thought about it.
Extreme examples aside, there are too many people who are so quick to criticize and complain but can’t see that their own intolerance or other negative behaviors are contributing to the problem. I see this in my kids as well. I get lots of complaints and sarcastic statements and have to remind them that all they need to do is calmly ask for what they want or need without all the negativity. I’m sure they have learned this by watching others do the same thing.
I think social media, TV, and the anonymity of the internet have all contributed to people being more critical and quick to judge and make fun of other people, which in turn contributes to less tolerance and patience. It’s so easy to post comments that are anonymous that many people don’t hesitate to do so. And social media has gotten us in the habit of sharing every thought we have with others, good or bad. Then there are people like Simon Cowell who made criticizing others into an art form. Others then follow suit and think that’s acceptable.
A little patience and tolerance can go a long way, too. It’s all about being able to control and censor your reactions or maybe have no reaction at all sometimes. I think we all need to remember…
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