Just the other day I was thinking about my tolerance levels and there is definitely room for improvement. Living and working with people we need a level of tolerance to maintain peace and harmony. Of course people grate on us in various ways but whenever thoughts and feelings come to me I quickly remind myself that I too irritate others. Often we only see what others do and say forgetting that we too get it wrong and that we can be equally annoying. Choosing to accept others breaks down barriers and even allows us to accept ourselves.
Ever since a child I have been particular about tidiness. I recall lining up my toiletries on my dresser as well as my shoes and clothes in my wardrobe. I grew up in a small home but it was always orderly and tidy thanks to my mother. After marrying and having children I had to reluctantly let go of my ideal of a showroom house otherwise I would have spent the whole day tidying up. I maintain a level of tidiness but give the children room to play with their toys and do arts and crafts. Paints are left for the summer months when they can do art in the garden or I pile on layers of newspaper and plastic to protect our dining table.
Our choice of having two children was down to me knowing how much I could tolerate. Initially my husband had ideas of having four children and I had to lay out the realities of life to him; childcare fees, minimal free time, finances and did I say minimal free time? Here in the UK it is completely different to Nigeria where he was born and grew up. There are not multiple aunties and female cousins available to care for your children whilst you go out to work. When the children are testing our patience I remind him that he wanted four. He chuckles at the thought of two more. Our children are energetic, assertive and talkative – believe me they are more than enough!
We must learn to be flexible in order to get along with others otherwise our working relationships and personal relationships will be greatly impacted upon. Being tolerant will mean at times laying aside what you would like, not working to your own agenda and acknowledging others have different opinions. When we are in our own environment we can decide how we would like life to flow but when we step into others, we need to be willing to be tolerant.
How tolerant are you?
Has this improved with age?
What life lessons can you share?