Tolerance is one of man’s sterling virtues; and civilization itself has its indebtedness to it. Arthur Helps has made a relevant comment in this context – ‘Tolerance is the only real test of civilization’.
In a family tolerance establishes the cementing tie among its members. Various complications may arise there for various reasons. The master of the house is to face them quite dispassionately and with tolerance. Thus, chaos makes room for cosmos; and discord ends in a concordant note; the house becomes a home of peace and harmony.
In the sphere of religion the role of tolerance is of paramount importance. The celebrated writer and thinker like Victor Hugo observes – ‘Tolerance is the best religion’.
The great Indian savant, Ramakrishna Paramahansa teaches his disciples with the exhortations – ‘Have patience, have patience and have patience’. It is the very essence of a religious faith to tolerate others. If it fails to do so, it degenerates into fanaticism; and fanaticism is underniably the grave of a religious cult.
An ideology can never be forced upon a man. He accepts and follows one purely with his wisdom and independent things. Everybody has the freedom to think and believe and in this rational process, different persons are christened to different ideologies. One should remember that all political ideologies have the common goal; to liberate man from the bondage of tyranny, exploitation and injustice. The only difference that lies between them is the respective way to reach the target. The way which is the easiest and most pragmatic attracts and impresses the highest number. An ideology thrives and earns popularity in this process. Bearing this truth in mind a political activist should show tolerance in his dealings with the people. Thus, with tolerance the clashes may easily be avoided from the arenas of politics.
Men’s sweet relations with one another offer them happiness; and this sweet relation among friends and other acquaintances can alone be maintained with the virtue of tolerance. A man may come to believe that his knowledge on a subject is absolute; and such an idiotic belief breeds rigidity in his attitudes. As a result, he cannot tolerate one who contradicts him. Thus, friends become foes.
The powerful nations of the world today are on arms race. One is trying to establish its supremacy over the other by manufacture g more and more sophisticated weapons having very great destructive ability. If such a suicidal race is allowed unhindered, the civilization will see itself totally annihilated in the days to come. Under the circumstances the supreme voice of tolerance on the part of the contending nations can alone save the world from sure destruction.