If I have to summarize contemporary psychology in one word, that’s Intolerance. Intolerance, that is the cause of majority human problems, from bitter relationships to loneliness to depression to limited social circles to professional life failures or even mental illnesses; gradually makes you believe in an illusory thought process that you’re the only right person which is clearly visible in people’s restless attitude to win an argument with someone, at any cost. This imaginary race to prove oneself rational and intellectual, acts as a friction even in the most profound relationships and eventually leads to disagreements, which take the form of disappointments and disrespectful attitude.
In pursuit of materialism we sometimes undervalue the worth of people around us. Humans are social animals, but unfortunately, our contracting social circles are a clear indication of our intolerant behavior. Regrettably, people do not even want to adjust well with their spouse, leaving behind family members. More surprising is the ‘Independent’ connotation attached to this isolated lifestyle, which lacks warmth, love, care and sociability. It’s a paradox that we live in an era where we have the mechanism that has converted the whole planet into a global village, where we are just at a click’s distance from each other, yet we are more disconnected than ever before, more emotionally isolated than ever before. And believe me, the sole reason for this is increasing intolerance in our society. Our intellect has subdued our understanding and we have started to expect perfection in every sphere of life, which is practically not possible. We want every event to be perfect, every individual to be perfect, every relationship to be perfect, every outcome to be perfect, every attempt to be perfect, every job to be perfect. And this unreasonable expectation of selective perfection from every dimension of life creates the clutter around out, blurring the sight to see beauty in every imperfect creature. Let's see few of the above discussed problems separately to understand how our intolerance turns against us!
If I talk on an individual basis, sometimes the drive to follow our passion, desire or dream separates us from our loved ones, maybe due to career importunities or in pursuit of chasing our dreams which physically distances us from our family. But we must also understand that this physical distance must be filled with enhanced emotional bondings with consistent efforts from both the sides. The very western idea of adapting an independent lifestyle involving the bold decision of isolating oneself from one’e family feels very glamorous initially, but in the long run this shakens the emotional foundations of an individual. I had heard a lot of young adults feel embarrassed if they are still living with their parents, because somewhere they feel that they are sidelined by their group circle. Perhaps that’s why the very root of Indian culture promotes the idea of Join family where an individual attains mental peace and emotional stability by living close to society, lives a life on foundations of rock-solid morals and believes in spiritual empowerment. Unfortunately, we do not even mix well with our family members also, because we are not ready to accept the imperfection that every individual has in some or the other way. We don’t adjust well with our parents because we hate the interruptions they make at times, out of concern. It’s true that societal stereotypes should not affect us too much, but that doesn’t mean completely disconnecting oneself from the social structure, which is a requirement of our fundamental system. The unfortunate death of Sushant Singh Rajput also gives a strong message that Successful career doesn’t provide an overall contentment of human life. A person on the zenith of success, surrounded by material success yet dissolved in depression, disillusionment and emotional aridity. There is no point of success if you have no one to share your happiness with.
If I talk about mutual relationships, of a couple who love each other very much initially, but eventually this mutual understanding is disfigured by excessive expectation from the partner. We tend to think that if my partner is fully aware of my nature, behavior, likes-dislikes, etc. then why is he/she failing to meet my expectations. And this gradually turns against the relationship with more arguments, clashes, disturbance, disagreements, dejection and ultimately separations. It’s no surprise that this is the reason for the majority of divorce cases in marriages where the couple used to love each other initially. This again happens because we tend to become very intolerant towards any ups and down which are bound to happen as dynamics of a relationship change with time. We don’t want to accept the person as he/she is, rather we want everyone to think, act and respond the way we want, which is impossible.
Long story short, I would conclude that we need to become more human and revive that humanly touch in our society where we care for each other, are tolerant enough to accept every person the way they are and enjoy the company of our partner, friend or relation with all his/ her imperfections. Get rid of this impractical belief that every event must happen the way you think and accept some things as beyond your control. See the beauty beyond these walls of imperfection which you yourself build and you will realize that every individual soul is worth your love. Believe me, life will become much more smooth, clear and decluttered. Would like to repeat a line from Max Ehrmann’s credo for life, Desiderata;
“Listen even to the dull and the ignorant, they too have their story!”