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Giving tolerance its due

Trampling upon the freedom and dignity of an individual in the name of the collective good is not the way to live

Moral discussions have been part of our drawing room discussions. These thought-provoking exercises have always been filled with discussions on normative issues from the virtues of truth, honesty, integrity, humility to compassion, non-partisanship and fraternity. Somewhere down the line, the virtue of tolerance has not been given its due share of acknowledgement.

Enjoying freedom and liberty are always talked about. But what is necessary to exercise freedom and liberty has been neglected.

In the present times when fundamental rights and freedom of speech are under threat, the virtue of tolerance has been relegated to an unprecedented level.

Considering the fundamental social association almost universal in nature, family is the site where tolerance needs to be exercised to the maximum. Tolerance towards the preferences of an equal by another equal is the keystone for any successful association, marriage in this context.

Respecting the choices of an individual is a sign of importance you give to him or her. Trampling upon the freedom and dignity of an individual in the name of the collective good is not the way to live. Collective good emerges from the individual good inherent in a sense of self-worth and inner happiness. It is important to recognise that in an association of two, both possess equal moral worth and hence their choices and preferences have equal moral standing.

Exercising tolerance is not a sign of weakness, rather it is a sign of acknowledgement of human dignity. Nobody ought to lock another’s dreams up in the name of collective good. Be the master of your journey. Row your own boat. Come to each other’s rescue when your journey gets tough.

You may not land up in the desired place, yet you will be a better rower and the journey itself is worth cherishing and has intrinsic value.

Individual contentment and collective good ought to go hand in hand and should not be subjected to bargaining in any social institution.

Sacrifice can only be called a sacrifice if it is a result of the willingness of the individual in question.

Marriage is not living together by weighing constantly and on a daily basis the importances and desirabilities of each other’s actions and laying false precedence of one over the other, in the name of the common good; instead, its essence lies in leading each other’s lives, helping realise each other’s dreams and standing up for each other’s goals, no matter whose preferences have taken a front seat and whose crushed in the history of marriages.

Tolerance is giving every other human every right that you claim for yourself, said Robert Green Ingersoll. When we realise this, we rise together; else we let the other down for securing and safeguarding our rise.

navya_reddy95@yahoo.com

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Printable version | Apr 7, 2020 2:17:39 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/open-page/giving-tolerance-its-due/article29309280.ece

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