Tolerance of others different Lifestyles

Humans like routine, it gives a feeling of safety. Our own lifestyle offers us routines which are familiar, unthinkingly followed and comfortable. At the same time it is hard to understand other lifestyles. That other people have different needs, and wish to satisfy them, is something which can be confusing. Anything that is different causes ripples of discomfort and unease.  It raises the question why do they need to be different?

For many people, knowing other people prefer to live their lives another way is a source of annoyance.  There are so many who want to control how others behave that tolerance of differences is anathema.  At the moment, in the world, there are religious and political groups who demand that we all live according to their standards.  Our standards are discounted as being against these fanatics beliefs.  We cannot be moral and valuable people if we do not conform. These groups are prepared to go to the length of killing themselves so that they can kill those they perceive to be wrong. All this creates is discord and misery. 

Having the freedom to live as we wish without interference from others, demands that we offer other people the same right and dignity. As long as how we live does not impose restrictions on others that is not a problem. The right to smoke can be a challenge for those who have given up or who have never smoked; but the important thing is that the right is there. 

Everyone has a perception of the ideal lifestyle. Each community develops a way of living which suits their environment, their religious ideals, and their skills.  Sometimes an individual does not fit into this pattern.  A benevolent group will allow them the freedom to explore a different system rather than drive them away because they are different. This way, someone who is loved can remain in familiar territory and be themselves.  Everyone can gain. 

On a larger scale, being tolerant of lifestyles which are radically different from our own means we are making an attempt to understand other groups and individuals.  This effort is worth the trouble because we can learn from it.  The other way might offer us insights into improving our own life style or it may confirm that we have made the right decision for us. By being tolerant of others we can reduce the amount of conflict around. 

In being able to recognize that others have the right to the freedom of choice in how they live we are making a contribution to peace.