When Tolerance isn’t a Virtue

According to Ghandi, patience, tolerance, and acceptance are virtues we should all aspire to achieve. Though noble in theory, this aspiration can’t possibly apply to all facets of life. So when, if ever, is it acceptable to de-bunk Ghandi?

We’ve all heard someone say, “I put up with (fill in the blank) because of (fill in the blank)”, haven’t we?  My girlfriends say this all the time when talking about their husbands or significant others, and I’ve also heard the statement countless times in reference to parents, siblings, bosses, and in-laws. How important is it for you to try to get someone to stop storing, quit leaving the toilet seat up, or renounce some other trivial behavior? Honestly, it’s probably not very important at all. During these situations, acceptance is the key.

So, when is it acceptable not to be tolerant?

Any time your health is at stake. I’ve witnessed people tolerate the health challenges of stiff joints, stomach pain, migraines, and even random growths. By tolerating a health challenge, you relinquish all power over your health – and your life – to the symptom you are tolerating. Before long, you hand the reigns over to your stiff joints, stomach pain, or migraines and they start running the show, dictating what you can and cannot do.

What would happen if you changed your perspective and vowed to be more proactive with regard to your health? What if you made the decision to hold tight to your health with clenched fists rather than relaxing your grip and allowing it to slip from between your fingers? What if you changed your perspective to believe that there’s always something you can do when your health is at stake? Taking action and addressing these questions head-on is a challenge, but the reward you will receive – regaining freedom and control of your life – is well worth the effort. Remember, the journey of life is most fulfilling when taken from the driver’s seat. Don’t let your health challenges drive you down the path of impassivity and apathy.

What health challenges are you tolerating? What can you do to start regaining control over your health?


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