Good Instead of Tolerance

We don’t have to tolerate good things. Society values tolerance: what about you? I value good and good needs no tolerance. But what is good? Are there things we can agree on as good? Regardless of a person’s, race, colour or creed, we should all strive to be good.

But what is good? Morally excellent; virtuous; righteous; pious; satisfactory in quality, quantity, or degree.

Other words for good:

pure, moral, conscientious; meritorious, worthy, exemplary, upright, adequate, outstanding, admirable, obedient, heedful, kindly, benevolent, humane, gracious, obliging, adequate, profitable, useful, serviceable, beneficial, efficient, proficient, capable, able, ready, suited, suitable, dexterous, expert, adroit, apt.

Perhaps what we need to do is look at what is good about a person: things, beliefs, or traditions. Once we determine what is good, we do not need to tolerate it, we can accept it because it is good. We all possess good, and we all are, at times and in our actions bad, evil, and sinful but it is our good selves that we strive to be.

Think about pain for a moment, we hear people say I tolerate pain, but why? Because pain can be good. Pain indicates a problem; it is a warning sign or a symptom. Pain and suffering have value: it leads to improved health, it means we are healing. Take a spiritual lens, most believers, understand pain to be penance and suffering for redemptive purposes. Pain is not good in and of itself but we can find the good in and though pain.

When we ask each other to be tolerant what are we saying? If instead we recognize the good in each other, we soon find ourselves focusing on what is valued in each person. It does not matter what religion, race or where we live, what matters is that we are kind, loyal employees, who puts in a full day’s work and are courteous to customers and colleagues. I may not be the most educated or the brightest in the company, but I try to be a good employee and a good person.

Yup, I think I got it – good not tolerance!


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