The Oxford English Dictionary defines tolerance as: the ability or willingness to tolerate the existence of opinions or behaviour that one dislikes or disagrees with.

In my days at school, tolerance was preached on endlessly. My young mind was instructed by countless teachers to not make fun of anyone else because of who or what they are, even if I happen to think they’re ridiculous.

But there is a problem with this approach. By keeping those thoughts to myself, I may have spared someone else’s feelings, but I also developed a growing pool of resentment inside myself. Tolerance introduces tension in any relationship, be it the connection between two people or two nations.

The unspoken can be just as detrimental as the words that are spoken. There is a  boiling point to this approach, and we find our own world history riddled with crusades and religious wars birthed from the tension of supposed tolerance.

So what is religious tolerance but an insincere mask to hide our dislike for another’s beliefs?

As Jedi, we have learned to embrace the similarities between faiths, and Jedi of all background religions are able to come together and create the community we see here today. A Christian Jedi and Pagan Jedi don’t frustratedly dispute the differences in their beliefs, but rather embrace the common threads that string them together.

The problem may arise elsewhere, however, when Jedi and non-Jedi debate the legitimacy of the others belief system. A non-Jedi may laugh in the face of Jediism, and a Jedi may snicker at a non-Jedi’s lack of understanding. And though everyone may bite their tongues, the tension builds itself into a barrier between interpersonal relations.

So don’t tolerate anyone. That is not a mutually beneficial way to coexist. We should get to know each other, be civilized but honest. Humanity has learned to tolerate others, to peacefully ignore one another and hope neither side gets fed up with the farce. 

Instead, we ought to learn about each other. Witness how the same concepts can be given alternative names which once peeled away reveal a rather familiar concept. If we shed our ‘tolerance,’ we might just find us staring at a reflection of ourselves. Put any name on a belief: religion, politics, science…they’re all just another label for our attempts at understanding some Universal Truth.

Some call it God, others call it the Tao, some just call it Truth, and others just don’t have a name for it at all. We’re all just seeking to understand, be it the meaning of life or what our individual purpose is in this world. We all seek this Universal Truth by whatever name we deem fit.

Peel away the layers and we’re all sporting the same core quest. And you certainly don’t “tolerate” your own beliefs…you live them!

A Muslim and an Atheist are both on the same journey, just with different names and different methods of getting there. Just because a Muslin prays five times a day facing Mecca does not make that path any more or less legitimate than an Atheist who might devote their life to scientific discovery, ‘praying’ to the cells under the microscope to reveal something grand.

It’s not a race, and it’s not a competition. Everyone wins, and everyone gets to decide exactly how they go about it.

So don’t tolerate your fellow human beings. Give them a cheerful wave and a good listen, and keep on truckin’.

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'Ugg.' Kendalina cheered, as though agreeing, but more from a listless 'Been there, done that' motivation.<br /><br />'I guess now might be a moment to bring up what you just said to your mom?' Tom suggested. Jack shook her head.<br /><br />"The...

'Ugg.' Kendalina cheered, as though agreeing, but more from a listless 'Been there, done that' motivation.<br /><br />'I guess now might be a moment to bring up what you just said to your mom?' Tom suggested. Jack shook her head.<br /><br />"The retreat's in two days -- if anyone wants to talk there, I'll say it to them, face to face."

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Excellent sermon Ace and so true; I was just arguing with a Christian at work the other day about tolerance; ironic.<br /><br />I think I could use some deep reflection on this topic. Thanks for talking about it.

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Its interesting because in engineering a tolerance is like a measurement of accuracy or proximity. A good wikipedia quote would be; <br /><br />"A tolerance is the limit of acceptable unintended deviation from a nominal or theoretical...

Its interesting because in engineering a tolerance is like a measurement of accuracy or proximity. A good wikipedia quote would be; <br /><br />"A tolerance is the limit of acceptable unintended deviation from a nominal or theoretical dimension."<br /><br />Very interesting how that tie's with your Sermon, thanks!!

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Acceptance, not tolerence...<br /><br />Thanks Ace...

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This reminds me of a discussion that was held recently in the forum (about Jedi healers). There were vocal opinions on both sides of a debate and some people wanted us to all just be quiet and accept that there cannot be an agreement. But that...

This reminds me of a discussion that was held recently in the forum (about Jedi healers). There were vocal opinions on both sides of a debate and some people wanted us to all just be quiet and accept that there cannot be an agreement. But that missed the point - the forum is not a place for always finding a compromise but to air our opinions, defend or expound them if necessary, and then learning from each perspective.<br /><br />GM Jon once said that the Jediism we practise here at TOTJO is not just based on bonding through our similarities but of also recognising our differences and being able to co-exist anyway. Wise words indeed!<br /><br />Great sermon, Ace! I only wish I had been around to witness it being delivered in person

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This is something I have been trying to relay to so many people over the years.<br /><br />To tolerate means to put up with.<br /><br />I do not tolerate anyone...<br /><br />I learn about them, understand our differences, and embrace them...

This is something I have been trying to relay to so many people over the years.<br /><br />To tolerate means to put up with.<br /><br />I do not tolerate anyone...<br /><br />I learn about them, understand our differences, and embrace them through respect and compassion.<br /><br />Great Sermon Ace!

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This is a wonderful sermon, Ace! You did beautifully with it live as well! <br />:-) <br />Thank you.

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Very nice. We are all on different paths traveling at different speeds in different directions. And all those paths lead to the same place. Not any one person is more or less than another because they are at a different place along their path....

Very nice. We are all on different paths traveling at different speeds in different directions. And all those paths lead to the same place. Not any one person is more or less than another because they are at a different place along their path. <br /><br />As Jestor mentioned, acceptance is key. Understanding that it is ok for others to not have our beliefs is a major step forward in our own journey.<br /><br />Thank you Ace for your teachings.

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Some even go so far as to say we should "agree to differ"... it's just laughable...

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I totally agree with your opinion as a person who works to integrate acceptance into my personality to the maximum extent. But I admit that I have been using the word tolerance incorrectly to indicate my acceptance of things. Tolerance assumes...

I totally agree with your opinion as a person who works to integrate acceptance into my personality to the maximum extent. But I admit that I have been using the word tolerance incorrectly to indicate my acceptance of things. Tolerance assumes our position is RIGHT and theirs is WRONG. But, as you pointed out very eloquently above, we are all RIGHT and on the same journey.<br /><br />MTFBWY-A

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