We all like to think of ourselves as accepting, but it is a lot harder than we realize. Especially when it comes to accepting those who are selfish, intolerant, and full of hate.
How far must I go in accepting others? I cannot answer this for you. You will learn this on your journey. The main thing to keep in mind, is to allow people to think what they want. We are all entitled to our perspective,
I've always thought of myself as accepting - at least until someone disagreed with me.
I began to see things differently one day after a dinner at your uncle's house. Our whole extended family was there. Young and old. Rich and poor. People from other places. Some had faith, others did not. I asked the question, If I do not accept the intolerance of others, does that not also make me intolerant? They responded with an unequivocal "No". I was asked in return, Are you going to just "accept" someone trying to kill you? Are you going to "accept" someone teaching your children to hate? My immediate reaction was no. But then I suddenly realized the hypocrisy of intolerance towards the intolerant. I saw it clearly for the first time. If I do not accept their views - no matter how hateful or vile they may appear to me - how do I not become the intolerant one myself? Am I always right? Do I possess the truth? Accepting the views of those you agree with is easy. It is in times that we don't agree, that we need to be accepting the most.
I want you to remember that their rights end where yours begin. Do not allow anyone to hurt you or cause physical injury to others. If they preach hate, show love. If they demonstrate intolerance, respond with understanding. To accept others doesn't mean that you agree with them. Educate them through your example, rather than reinforcing their beliefs with your reaction. Remember that we are all a product of our experience, and that you too have felt intolerance or even hatred at one time or another. The person you see before you, is not the person they will always be. If they mean physical harm, restrain them.