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Tag tolerance

Simple lessons

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I had my windscreen washed again the other day. And as I stopped at the lights and admired the agility of this humble man dancing between the cars on Northbourne Avenue, I thought of the lessons he is teaching all of us, if only we are open enough to stop and realise.

Each day at the lights washing windscreens for example you might not consider him a business man. But that’s exactly what he is. Talk about committed, he’s out there in almost every type of weather. The freezing cold right through to the stinking hot days that are this city. And he’s probably earning more per hour than most, with very few overheads. Now that’s smart. And simple. Sometimes it pays to keep things simple.

But even more than the simplicity of his business I am struck by the way he mirrors back to us our own version of humanity. Some people are uncomfortable with a man washing windows on one of the busiest corners in the city centre. Even to the extent of hurling abuse and condemnation. And then there are others who see a fellow human being, acknowledging him with a smile as they agree to the wash or not. I know who I’d rather be around.

Isn’t it interesting how the same situation, the same person can cause such different responses? I’ve come to the conclusion that it really all boils down to our beliefs about what’s right and the judgements we attach. It’s simple really. The more tolerant and accepting we are, the happier we are. Because when we live like this, there’s very little to get worked up about really.

One of the greatest gifts you can give yourself and others is to learn acceptance. Of other people, of other beliefs, of other situations. So the next time you find yourself in a situation that rattles your cage, just take a moment to find out what the lesson in it is for you.

Are you locked into the habit of easy judgement? After all, does it really matter?

How much better could life be if you responded differently?

 

Live and let live

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It seems the world has gone to crap at the moment, doesn’t it. Just pick any channel and when it’s not fear and terror, war and invasion seem to be the lead news items.

And it seems to me it all boils down to this… one group of people who have beliefs that are different from another group of people. But they feel so strongly that they are right and the other people wrong that they are prepared to kill or be killed.

Now I’m not in the business of making people right or wrong so I’m not getting into an opinion on it. I’m just looking at it from the outside perspective of seeing that it’s the thoughts in people’s heads, the beliefs they hold, that are causing a whole lot of suffering. For them and those around them. And we can become so locked into our beliefs can’t we. So attached to them we are willing to pay almost any price to defend them.

But it doesn’t just happen on a global scale, does it?

While we’re busy pointing the finger at the wars in other countries how often do we forget the wars we create in our own lives here at home. Family feuds or communities in conflict simply because we have a difference of opinion.  But it doesn’t have to be a case of right and wrong, does it. Why can’t we just have a difference of opinion? Why can’t we live and let live?

Tolerance, understanding, acceptance. These are keys words that will make all the difference if we practise them. Creating peace in our lives and those around us. That’s a sign of true inner strength.

As they say, walk a mile…

Where can you practise understanding and acceptance of another’s point of view even if you don’t agree?