On Tolerance

by Feb 1, 2022

 

It goes without saying that our current world is filled with many prisms and perspectives. Most workplaces are filled with diverse individuals who come from different backgrounds and bring with them various beliefs, opinions, and ideologies. While you may see things differently than that of your colleagues or supervisors, the idea of tolerance is one which transcends the cubicle and applies to our personal lives as well as our professional ones, too. We could all benefit from the teachings of the great Thich Nhat Hanh, who sadly died recently. A beloved peace activist, thinker, writer, and devoted Buddhist monk, he discussed tolerance often. Here’s one of his relative quotes: “We can’t accept or tolerate others and their shortcomings, and we demand that they change. But when our hearts expand, these same things don’t make us suffer anymore. We have a lot of understanding and compassion and can embrace others. We accept others as they are, and then they have a chance to transform.”

He was ahead of his time and encouraged radical acceptance.

Although personal beliefs don’t always change so easily, it’s still important to emphasize the necessity of listening to opposing viewpoints with an open mind, and to create personal and professional atmospheres that aren’t antagonistic, contentious, or righteous. So, how does one do that? We’ve compiled some tips to help, because, frankly, we are curious, too.

  • Practice radical acceptance. For yourself, and others.

  • Basic conversational etiquette should be practiced. For example, listen actively, wait your turn to speak, try to avoid interruption, and allow yourself to surprise yourself. Often we are trapped in echo chambers and enter dialogues already stubborn, unwavering, staunch, and inflexible. But sometimes – if one allows it – an unprecedented experience can occur. That is, a different viewpoint, and a change of mind, whether small or large.

  • Curiosity. Meditate on that word for a moment. Having a natural curiosity (or a practiced one) can increase the ability to expand and tolerate. How do you let curiosity in?

  • Self-possession. Take ownership of your feelings. Is someone making you feel a certain way? A crabby co-worker, a stressed out boss? Well, in an ideal world, there’s no such thing. You do not have to take on their mood and can respond and not react. It’s not always easy, but we believe in you.

  •  
  • Other ways to build tolerance? Meditation, accepting change is evitable, minding your ego (that one can be hard!), practicing patience, and keeping perspective.

  • Remembering that change is inevitable and the only “constant” in life. It is paramount to enable tolerance to grow and build.

  • Did your temper, ego, or attitude get the best of you in a current situation? Explore that. Remember that progress isn’t linear, relapse happens, and to take deep breaths and step away from the situation. Also, learning to apologize the right way, is a good tool/skillset to possess as well.

  •  
  • Remember, people are more than their opinions or belief systems.

  • Bad days happen! Try not to personalize, or be extreme in your speech, and encourage the middle road. We can all do better with this.

Mindfulness reminds us to “guard against discriminative and dualistic thinking and to avoid becoming bound by any ideology.” Hanh encouraged this. In a society that is increasingly more divided and fanatical (on either side, we dare say), compassion and staying present, are great tools. Good luck out there! And remember our golden go-to: if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all. Winnie The Pooh (another philosopher) would be proud!

This posting is brought to you by Contemporaries Inc., one of the best temp agencies in Boston MA. Also available for payrolling employees in Boston and Greater Boston

Recent Posts

Communication Can Be the Key to A Successful Career

Communication Can Be the Key to A Successful Career

Author: Contemporaries Team Have you ever noticed how well successful people are able to convey their visions, missions, and ideas? Most times, they do it flawlessly, whether it is in an intimate business meeting or a televised discussion in front of a crowd of...

Professional Accountability: A Personal Choice and Consequences

Professional Accountability: A Personal Choice and Consequences

Author: Contemporaries Team Numerous of articles have been written lately stating how a large majority of young candidates do not show up for job interviews, or even make it to the first day of work. This is not a trend which has been seen in past years, particularly...

No I in Team is True in Workplace

No I in Team is True in Workplace

Author: Contemporaries Team As the late great Contemporaries, Inc. co-worker Cullen Buckland used to say, "There is no I in Team." The beauty of Cullen was that he practiced what he preached, always offering to help and pitching in whenever someone else in the office...

Starting the New Year on a Positive Note Can Make A Big Difference

Starting the New Year on a Positive Note Can Make A Big Difference

Author: Contemporaries Team Annually, individuals hoping to improve their lives, often set themselves up for failure by jotting down a laundry list of new expectations through their New Year’s Resolutions. Even if they achieve some of their objectives, by not tackling...

The Joys of Having a Pet

The Joys of Having a Pet

Author: Alyssa Rebolledo When COVID-19 hit in 2020, people all around the United States felt scared, confused, and isolated. Individuals had to stay indoors all the time, missing out on many experiences such as making new friends, celebrating milestones, and other...

The Best Benefits of Working

The Best Benefits of Working

Author: Alyssa Rebolledo Nowadays, pursuing a career can be tiresome, anxiety-inducing, and stressful. You may lose focus of the brighter side which comes from all the benefits of landing a job.  They include financial freedom, a new purpose in your life, and...

Business Manners in the Workplace

Business Manners in the Workplace

Author: Alyssa Rebolledo Business Etiquette is a practical and fundamental skill everyone should use while working on a job. Exercising this practice will help advance your career and boost your likability amongst colleagues and employers alike. The best path to...

Using a College Graduate’s Habits Key to Virtual Work Success

Using a College Graduate’s Habits Key to Virtual Work Success

Author: Alyssa Rebolledo Imagine, you have just been hired for your first remote job and your team leader has given you a mountain of work which you’re not sure you will ever be able to complete. The tasks seem daunting and although you feel you’ve been at it all day,...

Flexibility is the Key to Workplace Greatness

Flexibility is the Key to Workplace Greatness

Author: Alyssa Rebolledo If you are trying to advance your career, being flexible is the key to success. This concept certainly applies when you are working in a new contract position. During this time, you’ll wear many hats and juggle ever-changing conditions that...

Tips to Use Your Time Wisely to Successfully Land a Job

Tips to Use Your Time Wisely to Successfully Land a Job

Author: Alyssa Rebolledo Job hunting has become so much easier since the days when you had to look at a newspaper daily to see who was hiring. Now, there are staffing firms like Contemporaries, Inc., and websites such as LinkedIn, Indeed, and GlassDoor to help you...

Gen Z’s Top Five Job Hunting Essentials

Gen Z’s Top Five Job Hunting Essentials

Author: Alyssa Rebolledo Gen Z is the newest and largest group of job hunters that are currently in the market. They are recent graduates, hungry for new opportunities, and want to change the typical nine to five job blueprint. Here are the Top Five Requirements of...

The Power of Positivity in the Workplace

The Power of Positivity in the Workplace

Whether you are a recent college graduate or a seasoned pro who has been in the workforce for years, why not try incorporating the power of positivity into your daily routine? It won’t take much effort on your part, but will set a better tone for the day. While you...

Giving Back is Key to a Better Perspective and Feeling Good

Giving Back is Key to a Better Perspective and Feeling Good

Working hard may be a great way to get ahead, but giving back and helping others can also be very rewarding and a means to feeling good. Most times, being nice and thinking of others costs very little or nothing at all. However, the gift of giving back may make an...

Rethinking Motivators May be the Key to Hiring Top Notch Job Seekers

Rethinking Motivators May be the Key to Hiring Top Notch Job Seekers

Motivation for job seekers today is very different from the incentives that drove them in the past. Or, at least the order of what seems to be most important to them now compared to years ago. Renowned American psychologist Abraham Maslow, back in 1943, put to paper...