What Does Tolerance Mean to You?


What Does Tolerance Mean To You?

 

The MOT defines tolerance as:

1) A fair and objective attitude toward those whose opinions and practices differ from one’s own.

2)  The commitment to respect human dignity.

There are two definitions because the concept of tolerance covers a lot: attitudes as well actions, individual choices as well as social, political and legal commitments. It is also a vision that encompasses everybody. Every person is both a purveyor and beneficiary of tolerance.

There are other great concepts to describe how we would like to see people learn, work and live together. Please share with us what tolerance means to you and what other words you like or recommend.

Check out what people are saying in the Tolerance Discussion Board below.

Please share your thought with us here:

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What does tolerance mean to you?

In my life I have learned some hard truths, and what I have learned is that we are all human beings first and foremost. Stigma and ignorance of the poor or mentally ill are facts of life but I am committed to helping NAMI and other groups educate people by volunteering when I am able. I want to always be a compassionate and loving human. - Betsy [Simi Valley, CA, US] 4.22.2013

When you accept someone for who they are. - Edith [Carol Stream, IL, US] 4.9.2013

Tolerance means accepting somthing that is hard or difficult to cope with. - Nick [Wheaton, IL, US] 4.9.2013

Tolerance means fair. you should be faur to eachothers differences. - Shay [Wheaton, IL, US] 4.9.2013

Tolerance means putting up with someone/ something that doesn't meet your personal goals or expectations and accepting it for what it is although not agreeing totally and completely with what it stands for. - Ian [Wheaton, IL, US] 4.8.2013

Respecting/ Putting up with someone even when you don't enjoy what they do or say. - Alleigha [Wheaton, IL, US] 4.8.2013

My Boyfriend has a sever speech impediment and hearing him struggle each day to communicate verbally has been such a blessing in patience for me. Its also been very humbling to hear him try to speak on the phone and get hung up on, or order at a drive through and have the other person get annoyed because he can't form the words... To be able to tolerate and open to learn what you don't know and maybe are afraid of is a huge stepping stone. If we all practiced more tolerance and walked for one day in anothers shoes... We would be much kinder to one another. - Liz [Gardena, CA, US] 3.1.2013

Tolerance. The dictionary defines it as a fair and objective attitude toward those whose opinions, race, religion, beliefs, or nationality are different from our own. But tolerance is so much more than simple, two-dimensional, black and white words. Tolerance is a choice to see everyone for what they truly are and what they truly can be, to find the most beautiful version of everyone and then only focusing on that beauty, only on their sparkle. It's allowing everyone around us to grow into the most unique and wonderful versions of themselves without fear. Tolerance is the flowers that bloom between the adversity of hatred and judgments that have so effectively tainted the tongues and minds of our societies, but still have the ability outshine them all if given the opportunity. - Maxine [New Smyrna Beach, FL, US] 11.14.2012

To be tolerant of the ways,beliefs,and opinions of others. - Rubelyn [Cagayan de Oro, Philippines] 09.06.2012

Tolerance is allowing someone to be different. - Steven [Fulton, IL, US] 05.08.2012

It means your trying to be better at accepting something you can't change our help. - Misty [Fulton, IL, US] 05.08.2012

Tolerance means happiness! :) - Spider [Kansas City, KS, US] 04.04.2012

Tolerance means accepting another group, culture, race, or ethnicity. The Lord says that we are all one under Jesus Christ. Being different allows for others to see the beauty in just being different:) - Christine [Los Angeles, CA, US] 03.06.2012

Tolerance is a philosophy of absolute strength to accept, to endure and to understand. - Darcy [Philomath, OR, US] 12.04.2011

Tolerance means to me is that when we all have to come together to respect each other in our daily lives - Wes [Deerfield, IL, US] 12.01.2011

Tolerance means to share theories. Also, it could mean expression of feelings that must have important good decisions. - Nathan&Andy [Deerfield, IL, US] 12.01.2011

Tolerance is important becuase it shows how much strength people have on the inside - Vito [Highland Park, IL, US] 12.01.2011

Tolerance implies respect for the dignity of each person and each person's right to exist as a human being on this earth. I think John XXIII put it best when he said in Pacem in Terris Hate the sin...love the sinner. - Jonathan [Inglewood, CA,US] 09.26.2011

Tolerance for me means being able to handle someones attitude or personality - Kenia [San Luis, AZ, US] 07.20.2011

Tolerance is an openness to listen and learn from others. We tolerate ideas and behaviors, while LOVING people. We should not tolerate people but love them. And when loving people, we seek to respectfully persuade them to what is true, good, and beautiful. It is not intolerant to disagree with another, but it is intolerant to use violence against their person to make them change their point of view. - Dale [Steamboat Springs, CO, US] 01.13.2011

put up with, allow. it doesn't have a ring of acceptance or forgiveness. Museum of Acceptance... what a concept. - F [Venice, CA, US] 01.13.2011

Realizing that we were all made in god's image. - Jasmine [Diamond Bar, CA, US] 01.08.2011

Like it or not, respect diversity. - Sharon [Wilmington, CA, US] 12.27.2010

Tolerance means to accept others regardless race, gender, sexuality or religion. When you meet someone new think like a kindergartener and be friends just cuz. Be nice to everyone around you. Keep an OPEN MIND :) You must be the change you wish to see in the world. - Angelica [San Leandro, CA, US] 12.14.2010

I had to understand what it meant first, then i thought about it for a second. i can say now that this is something i believe means how can someone respond to the many different things that arent like themselfs. How does what they learn and hear change their perspective or thoughts on the situation. Does it change that person in any way. Tolerance is having a open-mind and responding. - Rodric [San Leandro, CA, US] 12.13.2010

To me tolerance means that you are respectfully dealing with others although you may not accept their actions. When I think of tolerance I mentally separate tolerance of people and tolerance of their actions. Tolerance of people meaning their personality, ethnicity, etc. Although someone doensn't agree with another's actions, I believe that as long as their actions aren't harming anyone in the present or potentially in the future, that person should be tolerated. - Chelsea [San Leandro, CA, US] 12.13.2010

I believe tolerance is the ability to understand that we are ourselves. We are not anyone else. We think, speak, feel, and live for ourselves. It is what makes us different from one another but we share similiarities such as beliefs, background, experiences... We are human and tolerance is accepting that fact. It's accepting that we deserve the same respect and the same opportunity to become successful. Tolerance, for me, is hope that one day, we will live among one another in harmony. - Juna [San Leandro, CA, US] 12.13.2010

Tolerance to me means limit how much you can take before it is to much for you to handle.It also means to me capacity to endure something. - Paradyce [San Leandro, CA, US] 12.13.2010

Tolerance now, to me means the acceptance of another person regardless of their physical, or religious being and or background and to be able accept them for who they are. - Nicole [San Leandro, CA, US] 12.13.2010

For me tolerance is when you understand the meaning of people or things. You do not judge them in any shape or form. having tolerance not only have you accept people in your life but has you really know how you can become a better person in getting to know who they are. - Sabrina [San Leandro, CA, US] 12.13.2010

It means to be RESPECTFUL. - Chun [San Leandro, CA, US] 12.13.2010

Tolerance means the ability to accept another person regardless of what their beliefs are, religion, and background. - Mark Joseph [San Leandro, CA, US] 12.13.2010

To me, tolerance means being able to accept other's ideas and not judging them based on their race, or their physical apperance. Tolerance is being able to learn how to have an opened mind and accept everything around you. - Vanesa [San Leandro, CA, US] 12.13.2010

Tolerance is being open to others' opinions and beliefs. You don't necessarily have to agree but you should at least have the heart to accept each individual's choices as they should to yours. - Christine [San Leandro, CA, US] 12.13.2010

Means to follow a certain rule. - Kevin [San Leandro, CA, US] 12.13.2010

To me tolerance means, to have respect for the people in your surroundings. To not take advantage of your privlages. To be patient with one another. Make you appreciated for what you have. - Erika [San Leandro, CA, US] 12.13.2010

Tolerance means accepting other cultures and respecting it like how you respect your own culture. - Jethro [San Leandro, CA, US] 12.13.2010

To me, tolerance is when we should be able to accept and understand other people's choices, decisions, and actions no matter who the person may be. - Joseph [San Leandro, CA, US] 12.13.2010

Tolerance, what it means to me it is that you have to respect everyone around you because everybody is different and they all deserve to be treated as a human beign. - Rigoberto [San Leandro, CA, US] 12.13.2010

To me, tolerance is being able to accept people for who they are. It shouldn't matter how a person acts or what they believe. Everyone is human and should be treated equally and with respect. - Brandon [San Leandro, CA, US] 12.13.2010

To me tolerance means the act of respecting others views.It means to accept people because of who they are. - Robyn [San Leandro, CA, US] 12.13.2010

Tolerance to me means to be respectful - Jerrold [San Leandro, CA, US] 12.13.2010

Tolerance means to me, how far a struggle can go before its to much. It means something that it fair and is not juged by religion, ethnicy, and race. - Nakaylua [San Leandro, CA, US] 12.13.2010

To me, tolerance means being considerate of those who don't look the same as your or believe in something different. - Stephanie [San Leandro, CA, US] 12.13.2010

Accepting everyone no matter what religion, ethnicity, or life style they are. - Carolina [San Leandro, CA, US] 12.13.2010

Tolerance means a great deal to me after going through the museum. It means being very tolerant and never making harsh decisions. - Jose [San Leandro, CA, US] 12.13.2010

Tolerance means to me to always have an open mind and to always respect others even if you disagree with them. Tolerance is being non-judgemental and accepting of others. - Alejandra [San Leandro, CA, US] 12.13.2010

Tolerance to me means that we accept others as they are despite our differences and accept other's beliefs without judgements. - Christine [San Leandro, CA, US] 12.13.2010

Tolerance is making the conscious effort to do what is socially responsible and accept people regardless of any differences they might have. - Linda [San Leandro, CA, US] 12.13.2010

To me tolerance mean that you are open minded and not full of hate and anger. - Andy [San Leandro, CA, US] 12.13.2010

To me tolerance means that like if a person is tolerant than they dont dont discriminate on any type of person or background like ethnicity, religion and preferences. - David [San Leandro, CA, US] 12.13.2010

Tolerance to me means overcoming a struggle. The people that went through the holocaust were strong people and the survivors in the holocaust overcame those struggles. - Jason [San Leandro, CA, US] 12.13.2010

Tolerance means that you will respect and be kind to those who are different then you. It means to be open and kind. - John [Oakland, CA, US] 12.13.2010

The ability to know and accept the fact that you yourself are no better in any way than anyone else and therefore are willing to treat all persons with the love and respect that you, although unworthy because of not being perfect, would like to receive. we are all God's creation and He only has the right to say how each should be treated. - Christine [Phoenix, AZ, US] 12.07.2010

If we're in an open air concert and asked to hold hands, you'll hold mine and I'll hold yours. And if you can't or won't, I'll understand, while enjoying the music. - Melody [Aiea, HI, US] 11.30.2010

Making the conscious decision to move forward for the better despite our differences in total. - Karen [Fresno, CA, US] 11.26.2010

Tolerance means to me, to accept humanity for how it is and how it revolves us as people. - Tara [Long Beach, CA, US] 11.22.2010

Tolerance is trying to be O.K. with differences you don't understand. - Cathy [Columbus, OH, US] 10.13.2010

To me tolerance means I don't like you, but because I'm not allowed to do anything about it, I'll just have to "put up with" you. - David [Manchester, NH, US] 10.11.2010

Since tolerance sounds like the opposite of intolerance we assume that it must be the solution to hatred. In reality it is neither. Intolerance is expressing hatred; tolerance is (temporarily) not expressing it, but the hate is still there. As Nobel Laureate Elie Wiesel noted, tolerance can be condescending. He prefers "respect." Another Nobel Laureate, Mahatma Gandhi agreed noting that tolerance presumes others to be inferior. A third Nobel Laureate, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. never promoted tolerance. (Ever wonder why?) Many members of oppressed groups have also said that they are offended or insulted by the concept. We need to listen to them. Or we need to notice that since the inception of the tolerance campaigns, there has been a dramatic increase, not decrease in active hate groups. To say that others define tolerance in a positive light does not help because then (at best) "tolerance" becomes ambiguous, rendering it useless. At worst, it is destructive. We can and must do better. "Respect", "acceptance", "understanding", "compassion", "appreciation", "inclusiveness" and many other concepts that do not undermine equality are all preferable. We can do without tolerance; much better in fact. - Scott [Dover, NH, US] 10.05.2010

To me about to be tolerance depend what type of tolerance would you to bear. tolerance it's accept somethings about you don't agree. - Charles [Soyapango, El Salvador] 09.27.2010

To disregard a person's characteristics; their ethnicity their religious beliefs their sexuality or anything that makes them THEM. Tolerance is the ACCEPTANCE of others. - Maribel [Los Angeles, CA, US] 09.02.2010

Tolerance is the ability to accept others are not wrong nor backwards in their cultures and religions. Tolerance is the trait of noting casting judgment on others that might seem alien. Tolerance is about being able to live together peacefully without hatred and resentment for one another. - Christopher [Redlands, CA, US] 08.09.2010

I prefer the word "acceptance" over tolerance. To me, tolerance is tinged with the negative aspect of "putting up with" someone or something, but not fully embracing it. - Alejandra [Altadena, CA, US] 08.08.2010

Tolerance, to me is having compassion and a sense of open-mindedness when it comes to the things you know nothing about. Beings that i have a holocaust survivor in my family, i was taught that if a person is different, you shouldn't frown upon them because they are not familiar, you should embrace them because you are learning something new and valuable. - Angelique [Northridge, CA, US] 07.06.2010

The ability to withstand circumstances, people, situations, etc. regardless of how you percieve or feel about despite any and/or all differences. - Trina [Santa Ana, CA, US] 06.24.2010

Not judging a book by it's cover. Tolerance is the ability to look inside a person and not the outside. The outside is merely a shell our soul is housed in. You must look "inside the shell" to see the real person. - Michele [Yermo, CA, US] 06.10.2010

What i think tolerance is, is the ability to accept something while disapproving of it. - Adrian [Oxnard, CA, US] 06.07.2010

Tolerance is the acceptance of people's lifestyle, religion, apperance, etc. - Caitlyn [West Covina, CA, US] 06.04.2010 

Tolerance is an action based upon respecting and coinciding with another race, ethnicity, religion etc. Coexist. - Savannah [Winchester, CA US] 06.02.2010

To allow more than just your opinion. - Mason [Fulton, IL, US] 05.13.2010

Everyone is born unique. You will always come across meeting someone you do not like or have a certain quality you do not approve of. When encountering that, you must remember to be accepting of all flaws in every person regardless of nationality, appearance, culture, or values and the world may take a different turn when discussing the use of violence to solve problems we have in this world today. - Natasha [Murrieta, CA, US] 04.20.2010

Tolerance is an ability. Everyone has it; the true test is whether we can mske it achievable. It is not simply putting up with, or tolerating, it is appreciating and truly embracing the diversity throughout our world. - Brandi [Murrieta, CA, US] 04.20.2010

Tolerance means to respect other races even if u hate them. - G [Murrieta, CA, US] 04.20.2010

Tolerance means looking past differences and being accepting or tolerant of everyone. - Jordan [Murrieta, CA, US] 04.20.2010

Tolerance to me means to be accepting of everyone and everything no matter what its background is or how different it may seem. - Allison [Murrieta, CA, US] 04.20.2010

Tolerance to me is like looking out of an airplane window 10,000 ft. above the ground. You see people walking, driving, functioning in exactly the same way as the person next to them. Simply co-existing peacefully with one another. You can spot no difference from one person to the next, no looks of hatred or judgmental faces. No stereotyping what so ever; simply the human race existing as it ought to. - Nicole [El Monte, CA, US] 04.13.2010

Tolerance means to me that we should be able to accept those of different races, nationalities, and cultures and to trat them with respect. - Kate [Fort Worth, TX, US] 03.22.2010

People are born unique. Tolerance is a virtue one shows towards other person who has different belief, culture and values and giving respect to that person for what he is without necessarily understanding the differences. - Akila [Iowa City, IA, US] 02.13.2010

To "tolerate" another, is to minimally accept a person, to allow his existance, but to my mind, "tolerance" is not a strong enough word, if one hopes for a world redeemed. Tolerance grudgingly acknowledges difference. I want more: I want a culture where differences are celebrated! A place where one not only listens to and respects difference, but where one anticipates joy and delight in the experience of the other! - Diana [Corpus Christi, TX, US] 02.10.2010

Accepting unconditionally the differences in the the beliefs and ideas of others; that each one of us is a unique and distinct individual. - Lanny [Spokane Valley, CA, USA] 02.05.2010

Tolerance is plain and simple. To me, it means putting up with and getting along with people no matter how different they are in all aspects of life. - Vanessa [Porterville, CA, USA] 02.04.2010

To me, tolerance means that each person is judged as a unique individual, for who they are and what they do, rather than as a member of any particular group. - Hope [Pasco, WA, USA] 01.22.2010

Tolerance means, for me, the freedom, the freedom for the man. - [Ophelia, Lille, France] 12.29.2009

Remain smile[sic] whatever happens to you! - Huiqing, Hunan, China] 12.17.2009

Treating everyone as if they are a human being. As if they are no better or no worse than I am. - Diamante [California City, CA, USA] 12.15.2009

Being tolerant means to be aware and accepting of others beliefs, even though you can't be completely tolerant you should always try. - Daniel [Mentone, CA, USA] 11.15.2009

Tolerance means to accept one's thoughts even if you might not agree - Spencer [San Bernardino, CA, USA] 11.05.2009

To me, Tolerance means accepting in one or another's flaws and beliefs. - Alan [Redland, CA, USA] 11.05.2009

Understanding that there are opinions other than yours. - Natalie [Redland, CA, USA] 11.05.2009

To me, tolerance means being able to control yourself against other people's ideas, religions, race, etc. and handling conflicts because of difference. - Paris [Mentone, CA, USA] 11.05.2009

Acceptance of a variation of ideas and cultures that may or may not be different than your own. - Tony [Redlands, CA, USA] 11.05.2009

Tolerance is the ability to endure ones thoughts, actions, and beliefs, contrary to your own. - Nathan [Redlands, CA, USA] 11.05.2009

To me, tolerance means to is accept all people whose beliefs differ from my own with an open mind and open heart. - Summer [Loma Linda, CA, USA] 11.05.2009

Tolerance is patience that all people should have towards one another. Although many are prejudice people should be kind and caring. Not stereotyping or judging others. - Sarah [Redlands, CA, USA] 11.05.2009

To me, tolerance is accepting people for who they are and not being mean to them just because they are different. - Victor [Redlands, CA, USA] 11.05.2009

Tolerance means, to me, the acceptance of different races and religions even if you don't believe it. such as, if your a christian and you see a Muslum or Jew you ju accept that they're there. - Kaleb [Redlands, CA, USA] 11.05.2009

To me, tolerance means respecting other people's ideas, beliefs, and appearances and accepting differences.
- Rachel [San Bernardino, CA, USA] 11.05.2009

To me, tolerance is mainly respect for one another's ideas and perspectives. It is accepting someone else's religion or culture without disapproval. - Klara [Yucaipa, CA, USA] 11.05.2009

To me, Tolerance is an attitude that treats everyone fairly. - Emil [Redlands, CA, USA] 11.05.2009

Tolerence means to me that you should accept one another for who they are, like their beliefs and cultures. - Sarah [Redland, CA, USA] 11.05.2009

Tolerance to me is the exception, understanding, and respect of someone else's religion, culture, and thoughts. - Joshua [Redlands, CA, USA] 11.05.2009

Tolerance is acception with more strength. - Barbara[Springfield, AZ, USA] 11.05.2009

Tolerance to me means, when you accept someone when their own beliefs differ from your own and you don't judge/hold that against them because of it. - Tearsea [Highland, CA, USA] 11.05.2009

In my opinion, tolerance is being able to be social with anyone no matter what they are. The only way to not be social with someone and still have tolerance is when they provoke you, however, you still have to be nice to them. You cannot be prejudice or racist, or even sexist. This is what tolerance means to me. - Caleb [Redlands, CA, USA] 11.05.2009

To me, tolerance means respecting other peoples lifestyles and choices even if they differ from our own. We should not judge people by our standards because we are not perfect either. - Claire [Redlands, CA, USA] 11.05.2009

It means to me to understand others whether you agree or not with them. - Jonathan [Lafayette, CA, USA] 10.30.2009

Tolerance means acknowledging that there is no "one true way." All persons are deserving of freedom and equal treatment under the law. Tolerance means accepting even those people who have views that are the opposite of mine. It means that all people, regardless of race, religion, sexual identity, political views, appearance and socio-economic status should be free to live their lives as they see fit, so long as they do not harm others. - Laura [Sutter Creek, CA, USA] 10.06.2009

Respecting everyone's individualism. not imposing our own visions upon others. - Irving [Simi Valley, CA, USA] 09.25.2009

In an ideal world that Jew and gentile respect each other. - Pauline [Newcastle Upon Tyne, United Kingdom] 09.08.2009

Being respectful of others beliefs, lifestyles etc. Accepting that just because someone is different then myself does not make them wrong or less deserving of my respect. - Loujean [Three Rivers, TX, USA] 07.26.2009

Being Fair and respectful of all of our differences. A commitment to defending and protecting the intrinsic right of all peoples to individual beliefs, appearances, and religions. - Larissa [Middleboro, MA, USA] 07.24.2009

Putting up with something with which I disagree. It is NOT the same as acceptance, validation, or viewing as equal. - Phil [Duarte, CA, USA] 07.15.2009

Something that should be put up with. - Christinas [Garden Grove, CA, USA] 07.12.2009

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