Hello my fellow human Beings:
What is the difference between tolerance and acceptance?
The Oxford Dictionary defines tolerance as:
“the ability or willingness to tolerate the existence of opinions or behaviour that one dislikes or disagrees with; or
the capacity to endure continued subjection to something without adverse reaction”
The Oxford Dictionary defines acceptance as:
“the action of consenting to receive or undertake something offered; or
the process or fact of being received as adequate, valid, or suitable”
So tolerance means to endure, bear, or put up with. There is a limit or capacity built into it.
While acceptance means to recognize, acknowledge or allow. There is a free flow, rather than an adverse reaction.
If we just tolerate differences in human beings, then we just put up with:
- the different foods they eat,
- the different clothes they wear;
- the different styles of their speech,
- the different ways that they walk, or
- the different people who they love.
But don’t these differences make people unique and interesting?
Don’t they make each of us richer and fuller, rather than robotic and homogenous?
Therefore, if we accept these differences in human beings, then:
- we recognize the gifts of each individual;
- we acknowledge the blessings that their uniqueness offers; and
- we allow their differences to teach us and enrich us.
Our meditation practice helps us to truly understand the difference between tolerance and acceptance. If we just tolerate the pain and discomfort from sitting for long periods of meditation, then we just put up with it for a while. Yet, there is a resistance present that holds us back from going deeper, and there is a limit to this capacity to endure. However, if we let go of the resistance, by not judging, by accepting things just as they are unpleasant or pleasant, then we remove the barriers that prevent us from going deeper and growing fuller in our practice.
So this week, I encourage you to move beyond tolerance, to move beyond the limits of endurance, to let go of adverse reactions, both in your mediation practice and dealing with life’s situations. Instead, take the time to be still, to meditate, to connect with Your True Self that is One with all. Ask: What would love do? Then practice acceptance and receive a fuller understanding, deeper insights, a closeness to all Beings … and a more abundant life!