Do you consider yourself a tolerant and open-minded person? Are you really? It is very human to tell an acceptable story about the perceived self.
We may be tolerant of the broader differences of humankind. Race, lifestyle, religion, culture, gender bias, sexual preference and so on. These wide strokes of tolerance can come naturally and effortlessly for many of us. We might feel good about these values, righteous and almost smug.
But take a closer look…at the day to day interactions with loved ones, coworkers and peers. The nitty-gritty of our thought loops. How tolerant are we really? How often do we find ourselves judging others because we would do it, say it, create it differently?
We constantly hold our perceptions apart from the actions of others and we notice. We notice when something is not done according to our vision and we feel maybe a little superior. Or maybe a little frustrated, annoyed, perhaps intolerant?
This is the ego mind at work, stories and perceptions based on how we have been raised, our culture, our social status, our age and roles, our genetics, ancestry. When illusions and delusions steamroll over our peace of mind call in a little dog medicine. Consider the loyalty and unconditional love of the humble dog. No matter if this devoted pet is scolded, yelled at or ignored, even abused, dog remains tolerant of spirit. It’s as if this noble creature knows deep down of the capriciousness and fragility of the human condition. Dog finds a way to tolerate all aspects of behavior and love anyway.
We can learn from this, and find true tolerance of spirit in spite of the many foibles and missteps our fellow humans. We can watch and catch ourselves in familiar and intolerant patterns of thinking. We can be like dog and really let you do you.
Life calls us to grow, and through growth it is possible to reduce our suffering. So much, if not all, of our suffering is created in the loops and patterns of the mind. The mind doing, scheming, judging, preaching. Look at your dog, how much mind doing is happening between those ears? How much devotion do you see in their eyes in spite of your mood, actions or words?
Now consider the human mind, how much is happening between those ears? How much unconditional love can we feel in spite of moods, actions, words?
So we probably don’t possess a truly tolerant spirit always, and thats ok.
We are human after all.