Tolerance is the ability to accept other people’s views, behaviors, or beliefs without being judgmental. It’s often thought of as a virtue, something that good people possess. Compassion, on the other hand, is a feeling of empathy for another person’s pain or suffering and a desire to help alleviate it. It’s also often thought of as a virtue, but it’s less well understood than toleration.
A compassionate person takes steps to lift others up from pain and bring joy. A common example is Mother Theresa’s selfless work for the poor and weaker sections of society. In a country like India where 250 million people are still living in poverty and many farmers in Vidarbha and Marathwada regions are committing suicide, tolerance and compassion towards these segments is must-have for all Civil servants.
While tolerating differences is important, it’s equally important not to ignore or minimize them. If you ignore them, it can lead to problems such as racial or ethnic tensions or prejudice, which can then contribute to violence and other negative outcomes. On the other hand, if you’re willing to acknowledge and confront a situation, it can create a space for dialogue and healing.
The importance of tolerance and compassion should be instilled at a young age in children so that they grow up to be tolerant and compassionate individuals. Parents play a major role in this by teaching their children these values and being an example to them. Children are always looking up to their parents and copying what they do, so it’s crucial that parents teach their children tolerance and compassion in a loving and respectful manner.
Tolerance is important because it allows you to get along with other people, even when you disagree with them. It’s especially helpful when working with people from different backgrounds or cultures. Compassion, on the other hand, goes beyond tolerating differences and can be used to promote understanding and acceptance of a person’s views and beliefs.
When a person’s compassion is overused, it can lead to burnout and secondary traumatic stress, which may be particularly dangerous for those in direct contact with traumatized people. In addition, it can increase vulnerability to primary traumatic stress (the stress of witnessing or experiencing traumatizing events) and to compassion fatigue, which is the experience of feeling emotionally overburdened by the suffering of others. The key to avoiding these problems is developing strategies to limit the amount of time spent in high-stress situations and to balance these with opportunities to practice gratitude and forgiveness. This can help prevent secondary traumatic stress and compassion fatigue, as well as protect against primary traumatic stress and primary grief reactions. Practicing forgiveness and mindfulness can also help alleviate compassion fatigue. In addition, reducing your expectations of yourself and others can help avoid the risk of burnout or compassion fatigue. This can be difficult for some, especially if it’s a part of your job, but it’s essential for maintaining compassion.