The Wounds of Intolerance

Is intolerance one of your daily grinds? Be honest. Do you have difficulty leaving room for opinions you don’t agree with or the conduct of those who fail to measure up? I can think of a number of ways intolerance rears its head:

  • The healthy can be impatient with the sickly.
  • The strong have trouble empathizing with the weak.
  • The quick have little patience with the slow.
  • The productive lack understanding for the drudge.
  • The wealthy can scarcely imagine the pain of poverty.
  • The quick minds know nothing of the embarrassment of being a slow learner.
  • The coordinated shake their heads at the awkward.
  • The pragmatic criticize the philosophical.
  • The philosophical chide the pragmatists for their structure.
  • The engineer has little appreciation for the artist.
  • The stable and secure struggle to understand the fragile and fearful.

Karl Menninger wrote with keen perception,

When a trout rising to a fly gets hooked on a line and finds himself unable to swim about freely, he begins with a fight which results in struggles and splashes and sometimes an escape. Often, of course, the situation is too tough for him. In the same way the human being struggles with his environment and with the hooks that catch him. Sometimes he masters his difficulties; sometimes they are too much for him. His struggles are all that the world sees and it naturally misunderstands them. It is hard for a free fish to understand what is happening to a hooked one.1

Perhaps you are a “free fish.” Having never felt the sting of a hook or the choking panic of being caught, you would do well to keep your pride in check!

  1. Karl A. Menninger in Chaim Potok, The Chosen (frontispiece). (New York: Ballantine Books, 1967).

From Living the Proverbs by Charles R. Swindoll, copyright © 2012. Reprinted by permission of Worthy Inspired., an imprint of Hachette Book Group, Inc.

 

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