10 Things Worthy of Our Intolerance1. Be Intolerant of Naysayers
Pursuing our dreams and reaching our goals are hard enough on their own. Trying to swim upstream as others throw rocks at us makes it unnecessarily harder. So be wary of sharing your goals with those who habitually doubt and criticize and put down. Wet blankets are wet blankets no matter what the relationship. Choose who you confide in wisely. Those who tolerate pessimism (from themselves or others) are those who volunteer to climb the mountain of life with one arm tied behind their back and one leg cut off. Still, don’t confuse pessimism with wisdom or prudence. Optimism is not intellectual laziness. Positive thinking does not grant absolution from responsibility or honest self-evaluation of your assets, abilities and commitment. It doesn’t excuse you from the hard work of preparation. Optimists still buy life insurance. But where pessimism itself is creating deep caverns of difficulty between you and your dreams, a quiet and respectful yet sturdy and firm intolerance may be the most appropriate response.
2. Be Intolerant of Hate
Don’t tolerate racist jokes and comments. Don’t accept hateful barbs thrown at you or others. Never look the other way or excuse the bully regardless of the bully’s background. To do otherwise is to enable and empower the hate, to turn your back on the bullied, give tacit approval to the intolerable behavior and abandon its object to a miserable fate. Don’t tolerate your own hate either. Hatred is a cancer that must be removed before it metastasizes into the bone marrow of your soul. But be careful not to accuse every disagreement as being motivated by hate. Be tolerant of opposing ideas even if intolerant of the hate that may motivate some who articulate them.
3. Be Intolerant of Dishonesty
Don’t accept lies. Period. Don’t tell them. Don’t accept them. Live your life in such a way as to not feel the need to hide behind them. Don’t allow others (or yourself) the opportunity to nestle into their own cowardice. That is, after all, what lying is. It’s an attempt to get around the consequences of our decisions. Or perhaps it’s a way to avoid the overreaction of someone close or who has authority over us. Even so, have the courage to let the person overreacting choose how to deal with an honest life, not a pretended one. Then have the courage to accept their response.
4. Be Intolerant of Hypocrisy
Do you expect from others what you don’t expect from yourself? Do you impose a set of rules on others you won’t accept as an imposition on you? That’s what hypocrisy is, you know. Hypocrisy is the act of living a lie, pretending to be something you’re not or requiring others to live by a set of rules you reject for yourself. If you tolerate hypocrisy from others, stop it! Demand an equal playing field. Anything less is a form of servitude. Refuse to be a slave to someone else’s unwillingness to treat you like an equal. But remember that hypocrisy is not the same as inconsistency or human frailty. We are all inconsistent at living up to all we value. Otherwise, we would be perfect – or would have no ideals, standards or values we would have to bother trying to live up to. So be decidedly tolerant of people inconsistently trying to live up to their values and intolerant of those who would hide behind their values or impose them on others while ducking the imposition themselves.
5. Be Intolerant of Excuses
Excuses are messy things. They squirm and whine and reshape themselves like playdough pushed into cracks and crevasses. They defuse and deny, weaken and stifle greatness. Stay away from the numbing poison of excuses. Providing reasons is not the same as giving excuses, though. Reasons give an accounting, while excuses justify. Reasons accept responsibility, while excuses seek to pin fault on someone else’s lapel. Reasons explain, while excuses try to divert attention and hide motive. So never give in to the self-defeating urge to give excuses for balls dropped and wrong turns made. And while you’re at it, don’t accept them from others either. Hold yourself and others accountable for the decisions you and they make. Be compassionate, forgiving and patient as we all learn to accept responsibility for our choices, but intolerant of the excuses we may try to irresponsibly hide behind in the meantime.
6. Be Intolerant of Gossip
7. Be Intolerant of Time wasters
8. Be Intolerant of Ingratitude
Ingratitude is intolerable because it fails to recognize the humanity of the person who has done something kind. Even Jesus asked the 10th leper where the other nine were he had healed when the 10th was the only one to thank him. Help people grow by gently and lovingly and compassionately reminding them to express gratitude more freely. You will be helping them lay a foundation for greater and deeper and more consistent levels of happiness. Still, the most effective way to encourage gratitude in others is to be grateful yourself. Lead by example, not in spite of it.
9. Be Intolerant of Self-condemnation
10. Be Intolerant of Fear-Consider this in light of COVID 19
• Is it tearing you apart from the inside?
• Is it harming relationships, self-esteem, self-respect, work performance or otherwise getting in the way?
• Is it chronic and debilitating?
• Does it control you?
• Is it overwhelming?