Intolerance & Tolerance

“Intolerance is part of the unnecessary friction of life. It is prejudice on the war-path. Intolerance acknowledges only one side of any question — its own. It is a monopoly in thinking: the attitude of a person who believes they have a corner on wisdom and truth.

Tolerance, on the other hand, is a calm, generous respect for the opinions of others, even one’s enemies. It recognizes the right of every person to think their own thoughts, to live their own life, to be themselves in all things, so long as it does not run counter to the rights of others. It means giving to others the same freedom that we ourselves crave.

Tolerance is silent justice, blended with sympathy. If the one who is tolerant desires to show others the truth as they see it, they seek with gentleness and deference to point out the way in which they have found peace and certainty; they try to raise others to the recognition of higher ideals; they endeavor in a spirit of love and comradeship to lead others rather than to drive them, to persuade and convince rather than to overawe and eclipse.

-William George Jordan