Charity Towards Those Who Disagree with Us
Tolerance is more than charity towards those who disagree with us. It is a duty we owe to ourselves.
What is the essence of tolerance? It is respect for the free expression of minds other than our own. Surely, I do not possess perfect wisdom. My way of life reflects my own taste, my background of experience, what my limited knowledge has suggested to me as being sound and right. Because I am conscious of my limitations, I want other forms of life to flourish freely. It is their right, and I owe it to them. Nevertheless, I also owe it to myself, for how else will I ever correct my own deficiency except by permitting myself to be challenged by those who disagree with me?
A bigot is a source of misery to his fellow man, but he is also the forger of his own chains, jailing his soul from free contact with die world. He bites the hand that offers him food he has never tasted before, and which has new delights for the body or the mind.
A single flower could not contain within itself all the beauty and fragrance of the universe. This is why God has made many flowers in the garden of the universe. Woe unto the man who is so in love with the flower in his own window box that he would deny all others the right to be!
Man is the noblest flower in God’s world. When you meet one with unfamiliar color or character, do not trample on it. Cherish it as a new revelation of enriching beauty.
This is why good will is so often the best place to start wishing the other person well, but realizing that true happiness is something that each of us finally will have to find for ourselves.
True Merit and Pretend Knowledge
A growing body of theological reflection has concluded that ethical treatment of nonhuman creatures is an issue of justness and mercy. It is perpetually better to have no ideas than false ones; to believe nothing, than to believe what is wrong. Men in health who are outstandingly dirty, or that have been in the company of those who have been affected with an infective fever, will transmit disease as much as the sick themselves, and the jail distemper has been known to continue from prisoners who were not themselves affected by it. Nevertheless, crucially, we have to want to be emancipated; we have to want to become educated. It is on all hands acknowledged, that the most obvious appearances in nature are those, which are least, understood. The progressive and discerning public can readily differentiate true merit from pretend knowledge. Facts are demonstrable—his superiority is universally acknowledged. Into what grievous forms these have shot forth, and what various mischief’s they have produced in society, is too well known.
You are either somebody who feels this (or has felt it) or not-much like you are someone who either gets headaches or does not. Even if you have never felt it yourself, almost sure enough you know someone who has (whether you recognize it or not). Existential boredom defines an inability to find not just specific things but all of life interesting. It manifests itself as a mood in which, for no reason you can articulate, nothing seems to satisfy-even things that normally do. American founding father Ben Franklin once wrote,
- Plough deep, while sluggards sleep, and you shall have corn to sell and keep. Work while it is called today, for you know not how much you may be hindered tomorrow. One today is worth two tomorrows, and Never leave that till tomorrow, which you can do today.
- If you were a servant, would you not be ashamed that a good master should catch you idle? Are you then your own master? Be ashamed to catch yourself idle when there is so much to be done for yourself, your family, and your country. Handle your tools without mittens: Remember, that the cat in gloves catches no mice.
- It is true, there is much to be done, and perhaps, you are weak handed; but stick to it steadily, and you will see great effects; for Constant dropping wears away stones; and by diligence and patience the mouse ate in two the cable; and little strokes fell great oaks.
When you find yourself flipping from Cyberspace site to Internet site; picking up a book, reading a few pages, and then putting it back down; walking around your flat or house in search of something to do but finding nothing to occupy you.