Happiness and Tolerance - Prakash Dangi

I believe that tolerance is happiness. Tolerance can be defined as a fair and objective attitude towards those whose lifestyle differs from yours. When I am living without tolerance, I am fighting my own happiness. I have learned that everyone in this world is doing the best they can with what they have and with what they know. I have also learned that I do not always know or understand what another person is experiencing on any given day and that when I cross paths with someone who may seem selfish or rude, or intolerant, that person may be going through a rough period of life and experiencing severe pain, loss or grief.

Tolerance is one of those qualities that form the bedrock of society. The world is a much smaller place today.  More people from different nations, cultures, religions and lifestyles are working together and living in the same neighbourhoods than ever before. Tolerance does not mean giving up one’s own way of life. Tolerance is following the motto “Live and Let Live!” Tolerance just understands another person’s beliefs, practices and habits without necessarily accepting them or following them. It is simply being a little unselfish. It is adjusting to others a little, giving up just a little to make someone else happy. It understands that everyone has, more or less the same basic needs as oneself. It is realizing that ultimately everyone wants to be happy and peaceful.

Happiness doesn’t happen out of anywhere – it has to be worked on; it has to be produced, created, discovered, built from the ground up. And it has to be a decision in one’s mind: the decision to be happy. Happiness also is dependent upon how one spends their time, as in their job. Happiness has defied definition. Most people tend to equate happiness with fun, good living, plenty of money. If happiness were synonymous with this, entire rich people with all their luxuries and countless parties would be perpetually happy. But in actual fact, they are frequently acutely unhappy despite their riches and ability to indulge in fun activities at will. Fun is what we experience during an act-happiness is that intangible something we experience after an act. We may have fun watching a movie, going shopping, meeting friends-these are all activities that afford us fleeting moments of relaxation and enjoyment. Happiness, on the other hand, is a much stronger, and deeper. The meaning of happiness is contentment and satisfaction. Finding true happiness is a worthy goal. The problem is many turns to material possessions to reach that goal. 

Prakash Dangi
The Fabindia School

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