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Before You Speak ... THINK

Updated: Dec 7, 2023

by Danah

"If civilization is to survive, we must cultivate the science of human relationships - the ability of all peoples, of all kinds, to live together, in the same world at peace." ~ Franklin D. Roosevelt

Come live in my bubble and bring all your stuff with you. Think about it - pick a random person and invite them in, warts and all. Allow them to be just as they are. It's a nice thought and excellent display of tolerance; although the execution might be a little bit more challenging than the intention is.

Shame Perpetuates Disdain

If I'm losing you on this one it's because I initially intended this blog post to be a full-on rant. Instead, I let my thoughts simmer for most of the day and I've changed my mind. See, this morning an acquaintance of mine put up a somewhat condemning post on Facebook. A post that perpetuates the shame a particular group of individuals face because of their life choices. And, of course, when you condemn someone publicly, the Internet trolls come out and perpetuate the distain, shame and hatred for the people that fall in this category. This one, though, hit just a little too close to home.

Tolerance Transcends Judgement and Shame

Instead of getting all upset about it, let's think about tolerance. Let's think about what it actually is and think about how much or little effort it takes to maintain. And how we can train ourselves to transcend the judgement and shaming of others. In the dictionary, tolerance is: the ability or willingness to tolerate something, in particular the existence of opinions or behavior that one does not necessarily agree with.

Practice Mindfulness

Whether we're tolerating something big or small it takes the average joe a lot of mindfulness to keep judgment out of it. To truly accept somebody for their differences, challenging traits, or anything else that doesn't quite fit in with our lifestyle and belief system. Even when our opinions and beliefs differ greatly, sometimes it's better to THINK before we speak.

Learn to T.H.I.N.K.

THINK is an acronym I've seen on the business card at a local restaurant. It breaks the struggle down into a beautifully simple strategy. Is it True, Helpful, Inspiring, Necessary, and Kind? If we all just took a minute to THINK... imagine what a better place this world could be!

*This post was originally published on: June 29, 2016 (though it's worth repeating)


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