Tolerance vs. Compassion

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Tolerance vs. Compassion

  Let us first start with the true definitions of each word.   Tolerance: the ability or willingness to tolerate something, in particular the existence of opinions or behavior that one does not necessarily agree with.   Compassion: sympathetic pity and concern for the sufferings or misfortunes of others.   Which would you rather teach your child? To just tolerate each other or to be sympathetic and compassionate?   The public school system is trying to their best to teach our youth how to co-exist, how to get along, and I think that is great. In one program, they are seeing how the concept of tolerance can help lower the bias-related crime rate in their community. They assess that lack of education of other cultures or religions create and environment where there is segregation and confusion. If they can teach the students to relate then maybe the crime will lessen. Although I believe that a misunderstanding can lead to a war, I think they are missing the bigger picture. We can not just tolerate each other but learn to have compassion towards one another. If we learn compassion, there is no need to tolerate. There is no division, no hate, no prejudice. Within compassion, there is just the desire to help, support and love one another.   For my own family, I am choosing to go above and beyond the tolerance levels. Tolerance is introduced as a way to bond different races, cultures and religions. So how does one stay tolerant of one’s own brother or sister whom they have known their entire life? After all, they look alike, practice the same religion and live in the same house for Pete’s sake! I don’t want my kids to just tolerate each other, I want them to have compassion towards one another and love one another no matter what. I want their hearts to reach out and grow when there is conflict or pain.   I don’t want my sons to just tolerate their little sister; I want them to have compassion for her needs and desires, I want them to love her for who she is and share a bond that goes deeper than just a sibling.  I want them to want to get the ice pack when she has an “owie” or hold her hand when she’s had a bad day. I don’t want my daughter to just tolerate her older brothers; I want her to have compassion for them when they are sick or hurt. I want her to try and understand their trials and really listen to their needs. I don’t want to just tolerate my husband; I want to have compassion for his needs and desires; to reach out fully when he needs support. I want to have compassion when he is sick or hurt and not just add him to my To Do list like he is a chore. And I want him to have compassion for me and not just tolerate me when I am an emotional wreck {which is unfortunately a regular occurrence}. I want to build a home off of compassion, love and grace.  So, it’s great that the government and schools want to help make our children tolerant, I really do, but I think as parents we can do more and teach them to be compassionate and grace filled individuals.  

Ephesians 4:32  Be kind to one another, tenderhearted,  forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.

  Please share with me; how do you teach your 5 year old how to be compassionate? Better yet, a teenager?    

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