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Different Kind of Tolerance

Domestic violence is not about caring for one’s family. It is about trying to attain complete control over one’s environment. Why? Because a person feels a lack of control of what’s happening inside them. Can such a person be a responsible employee or a strong leader? Absolutely – as long as their job description is about controlling their environment.

How much longer are we willing to tolerate this kind of violence?

Sexual harassment or sexual assault are not about love. They are definitely not about sex as a way of two people enjoying each other. It is about exercising absolute control over another human being. Can a serial sexual predator be a strong leader? Definitely. In that case reach of their control does not just include their victims. It involves ranks of enablers who are cleaning the mess and maintaining a strong facade.

How much longer are we willing to tolerate this kind of violence?

Mass shootings are not about some desperate attempt to make a point. It is a desperate grip for controlling a great confusion of powerful emotions and a need to blame, hate, destroy something outside oneself to feel that previously unknown power over one’s environment. I doubt that a mass shooter can indeed be a strong leader. On the other hand, history knows many examples of “great leaders” who turned ranks of their followers into mass murderers who "just followed the orders".

How much longer are we willing to tolerate this kind of violence?

In the United States we live in a culture that values ability to be in charge, to have everything under control. Our cultural mantra is “It is up to you!”. Not – "It is up to you within reason” or “It, that is up to you, has to be about mastering control over your own actions and reactions”.

We live in a culture that is going through tremendous local and global changes:

  • The U.S. is steadily moving toward becoming a minority-majority nation

  • More women than men are going beyond high-school education

  • Robots are coming. That means many kinds of jobs will disappear while others will be created

  • Technology is literally rewiring human brains and experts from different fields are sounding alarms about today’s kids and teenagers exhibiting higher levels of anxiety, depression, and suicidal tendencies

  • Polarizing "Us vs. Them" discourse becomes increasingly common. It is not just a frustrating noise. It leads one man to bring his rifle to a pizza place and another man to bring his gun to a baseball practice

You can add many more points to that list.

Maybe it’s time to start connecting the dots? Maybe it’s time to start protecting our personal and our societal future by learning how to take charge of that rage, that fear, that hopelessness within us? Maybe that’s what we need to teach our kids first and foremost?

Maybe it is time to practice a new kind of intentional tolerance - our ability to tolerate ourselves (our discomfort, fear, frustration, anger, boredom, you name it) while engaging with others across our differences? Come to think of it - is not that a way to truly take charge and be in control from inside out?


Contact us to learn more about bringing this new kind of tolerance into your work and into your life. Connecting Differences, LLC is ready to be your partner on this journey every step of the way.

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