#4 In a time of intolerance

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1. The Chinese character for tolerance and patience is a sword hanging above a vulnerable open heart. People who have cultivated their character in terms of tolerance know when to act appropriately and when to wait. Conversely, people who haven't cultivated tolerance either become indifferent and apathetic in the face of injustice––think of the rise of the Nazis to power while people were pretending things were––or impulsive blowhards who shout in favor of their position without considering the complexities of the situation. Being tolerant therefore requires enough space to see the situation clearly, from multiple perspectives, and an ability to act that is motivated by the greater good. 

Consider two responses to athletes kneeling during the national anthem:

A) "If a player wants the privilege of making millions of dollars in the NFL, or other leagues, he or she should not be allowed to disrespect our Great American Flag (or Country) and should stand for the National Anthem. If not, YOU'RE FIRED. Find something else to do!"
 


B)  “I want Mr. Kaepernick and others who are on a knee, I want them to to listen to the pain that that may cause somebody who, for example, had a spouse or a child who was killed in combat and why it hurts them to see somebody not standing. But I also want people to think about the pain he may be expressing about somebody who’s lost a loved one that they think was unfairly shot.” 

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Quote A implies that by making a lot of money, a player waives his right to protest injustice because the American flag stands for one thing only––the military–– and that the flag is Great no matter what. 

Quote B implies there are two positions to consider: the flag as a symbol of the US military and its veterans, which citizens should treat with respect; and as a symbol of freedom and equality under American law, a law which too often turns a blind eye to police brutality against its minority citizens. 

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Which quote resonates more with you? What's your own edge in cultivating tolerance? When are you too passive and when do you become a blowhard? Know thyself. 

Read more about a veteran's perspective here:

Donald Trump and his supporters say kneeling during the anthem is disrespectful to veterans. Many veterans disagree.

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2. Watch World's Apart. Expanding our generosity, morality, and tolerance is really fucking hard. But the way is not as hard for those who are unattached to their preferences. Pretty great for a beer ad.


3.

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Take relaxing more seriously. Go just be. “When animals in the forest are wounded, they rest. They look for a very quiet place and just stay there without moving for many days."

There's also a wonderful passage about building a lazy day for yourself:

"Most of us have very scheduled lives and very full calendars. But do we have enough lazy days in our calendar? A lazy day is a day for us to be without any scheduled activities. We just let the day unfold naturally, timelessly... A lazy day is a chance to train ourselves not to be afraid of doing nothing... Your time is first of all for you to be––to be alive, to be peace." Design more open space in your life and your patience and tolerance will grow. 

Read How to Relax


Bonus Wisdom Pin-Up:

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Did any of this matter to you? If so, start or join a conversation below.