Tolerance Quotes

Tolerance or toleration indicates a fair, objective, and permissive attitude toward those whose opinions, practices, race, religion, nationality, etc., differ from one’s own, especially evident in deliberate opposition to bigotry.

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Be so tolerant that your heart becomes wide like the ocean. Become inspired with faith and love for others. Offer a hand to those in trouble, and be concerned about everyone. – M. Fethullah Gulen

Applaud the good for their goodness, appreciate those who have believing hearts, and be kind to believers. Approach unbelievers so gently that their envy and hatred melt away. Like a Messiah, revive people with your breath. – M. Fethullah Gulen

Remember that you travel the best road and follow an Exalted Guide, upon him be peace. Be mindful that you have his guidance through the most perfect and expressive revelation. Be fair-minded and balanced in your judgment, for many people do not enjoy these blessings. – M. Fethullah Gulen

Return good for evil, and disregard discourteous treatment. An individual’s character is reflected in his or her behavior. Choose tolerance, and be magnanimous toward the ill-mannered. – M. Fethullah Gulen

The most distinctive feature of a soul overflowing with faith is to love all types of love that are expressed in deeds, and to feel enmity for all deeds in which enmity is expressed. To hate everything is a sign of insanity or of infatuation with Satan. – M. Fethullah Gulen

Accept how God treats you. Make it the measure by which you treat others, so that you may represent the truth among them and be free from the fear of loneliness in either world. – M. Fethullah Gulen

Only those who do not use their reason, or who have succumbed to plain stupidity and desires of the flesh, are convinced that believing men and women might harm them. Apply to a spiritual master to stir up your heart, and fill your eyes with tears. – M. Fethullah Gulen

Judge your worth in the Creator’s sight by how much space He occupies in your heart, and your worth in people’s eyes by how you treat them. Do not neglect the Truth even for a moment. And yet, “be a man or woman among other men or women.” – M. Fethullah Gulen

Take note of and be attentive to any behavior that causes you to love others. Then remind yourself that behaving in the same way will cause them to love you. Always behave decently, and be alert. – M. Fethullah Gulen

Kindness Chalk Handwritten Word HandwritingDo not allow your carnal self to be a referee in any contention, for it will always rule that everyone but you is sinful and unfortunate. Such a judgment, according to the word of the Most Truthful, upon him be peace, signifies your destruction. Be strict and implacable with your carnal self, and be relenting and lenient toward others. – M. Fethullah Gulen

In order to preserve your credit, honor, and love, love for the sake of the Truth, hate for the sake of the Truth, and be open-hearted toward the Truth. – M. Fethullah Gulen

  • Not the power to remember, but its very opposite, the power to forget, is a necessary condition for our existence.
    • Sholem Asch, The Nazarene, 1939, p. 3.
  • Sometimes true tolerance requires an extraordinary strength, which we are often too weak to exercise.
    • Fausto Cercignani in: Brian Morris, Quotes we cherish. Quotations from Fausto Cercignani, 2014, p. 29.
  • Tolerance without dialogue is a euphemism for indifference.
    • Count Miklós Cseszneky de Milvány et Csesznek, Párbeszéd, Partium, 2009 Spring edition, 16 p.
  • Yet in time of stress and public agitation we have too great a tendency to disregard this policy and indulge in race hatred, religious intolerance, and disregard of equal rights. Such sentiments are bound to react upon those who harbor them. Instead of being a benefit they are a positive injury. We do not have to examine history very far before we see whole countries that have been blighted, whole civilizations that have been shattered by a spirit of intolerance. They are destructive of order and progress at home and a danger to peace and good will abroad. No better example exists of toleration than that which is exhibited by those who wore the blue toward those who wore the gray. Our condition today is not merely that of one people under one flag, but of a thoroughly united people who have seen bitterness and enmity which once threatened to sever them pass away, and a spirit of kindness and good will reign over them all.
    • Calvin Coolidge, “Ways to Peace”, speech at Arlington (31 May 1926).
  • The tolerant man has decided opinions, but recognises the process by which he reaches them, and keeps before himself the truth that they can only be profitably spread by repeating in the case of others a similar process to that through which he passed himself. He always keeps in view the hope of spreading his own opinions, but he endeavours to do so by producing conviction. He is virtuous, not because he puts his own opinions out of sight, nor because he thinks that other opinions are as good as his own, but because his opinions are so real to him that he would not anyone else hold them with less reality
    • Mandell Creighton, Persecution and Tolerance, Hulsean Lectures, University of Cambridge (Winter 1893–94)
  • I could say analogously that tolerance is the affable appreciation of qualities, views, and actions of other individuals which are foreign to one`s own habits, beliefs, and tastes. Thus being tolerant does not mean being indifferent towards the actions and feelings of others. Understanding and empathy must also be present….
    • Albert Einstein, quoted in Banesh Hoffmann and Helen Dukas (eds.), Albert Einstein: The Human Side, Princeton university press 1979, p. 89.
  • The responsibility of tolerance lies with those who have the wider vision
    • George Eliot, The Mill on the Floss (1860).
  • I am a lover of truth, a worshipper of freedom, a celebrant at the altar of language and purity and tolerance. That is my religion, and every day I am sorely, grossly, heinously and deeply offended, wounded, mortified and injured by a thousand different blasphemies against it. When the fundamental canons of truth, honesty, compassion and decency are hourly assaulted by fatuous bishops, pompous, illiberal and ignorant priests, politicians and prelates, sanctimonious censors, self-appointed moralists and busy-bodies, what recourse of ancient laws have I? None whatever. Nor would I ask for any. For unlike these blistering imbeciles my belief in my religion is strong and I know that lies will always fail and indecency and intolerance will always perish.
    • Stephen Fry, in his “Trefusis Blasphemes” radio broadcast, as published in Paperweight (1993).
  • Compassion and tolerance are not a sign of weakness, but a sign of strength.
    • Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama, as quoted in Words Of Wisdom: Selected Quotes by His Holiness the Dalai Lama (2001) edited by Margaret Gee, p. 71.
  • There is a huge difference between being tolerant and tolerating intolerance
    • Ayaan Hirsi Ali [1]
  • Suppose there should be a law made that all black men should be imprisoned, it would be unreasonable. We have as little reason to quarrel with other men for being of different opinions than as for being of different complexions.
    • James II of England, 1688 public speech, as recorded by an anonymous diarist. Source.
  • People who are intolerant, categorize and over-react… should all be dragged against a wall and shot.
    • Arthur M. Jolly, The Questionnaire (2010).
  • Theological condemnation of others, which breaks off fellowship in either judgment or contempt, is impermissible.
    • Ernst Käsemann, describing the view of Paul of Tarsus, Commentary on the Romans (1980), p. 369.
  • We have no wish to indoctrinate; we want to teach our students to resist indoctrination and not accept as authoritative the beliefs of other men or even the ideas that come to us as in a flash of illumination. Even if one has experiences that some men would call mystical—and I have no doubt that I have had many—it is a matter of integrity to question such experiences and any thoughts that were associated with them as closely and as honestly as we should question the “revelations” of others. To be sure, it is easier to grant others their “revelations” as “true for them” while insisting on one’s own as “true for oneself.” Such intellectual sluggishness parades as sophistication. But true tolerance does not consist in saying, “You may be right, but let us not make hard demands on ourselves: if you will put your critical intelligence to sleep, I’ll put mine to bed, too.” True tolerance remains mindful of the humanity of those who make things easy for themselves and welcomes and even loves honest and thoughtful opposition above less thoughtful agreement.
    • Walter Kaufmann, “The faith of a heretic,” Harper’s Magazine, February 1959
  • We live in a world of intolerance masked as tolerance.
    • Rush Limbaugh, The Rush Limbaugh Show, 7 March 2012
  • Tolerance becomes a crime when applied to evil.
    • Thomas Mann, The Magic Mountain (1924), as translated by Woods (1996), p. 506
  • Tolerant people are the happiest, so why not get rid of prejudices that hold you back?
    • William Moulton Marston 1939 Your Life What are your prejudices?
  • Neither tolerance nor intolerance is grounded in science and reason, but they are themselves acts of faith grounded in social custom and the politics of expediency and power
    • John Money, Homosexuality: Bipotenitality, Terminology, and History.
  • Unlimited tolerance must lead to the disappearance of tolerance. If we extend unlimited tolerance even to those who are intolerant, if we are not prepared to defend a tolerant society against the onslaught of the intolerant, then the tolerant will be destroyed, and tolerance with them. […] We should therefore claim, in the name of tolerance, the right not to tolerate the intolerant.
    • Karl Popper, The Open Society and Its Enemies (1945), Vol. 1, Notes to the Chapters: Ch. 7, Note 4.
  • Let us now consider whether justice requires the toleration of the intolerant, and if so under what conditions. There are a variety of situations in which this question arises. Some political parties in democratic states hold doctrines that commit them to suppress the constitutional liberties whenever they have the power. Again, there are those who reject intellectual freedom but who nevertheless hold positions in the university. It may appear that toleration in these cases is inconsistent with the principles of justice, or at any rate not required by them.
    • John Rawls, “Toleration of the intolerant,” A Theory of Justice (1971), p. 216.
  • An intolerant sect has no right to complain when it is denied an equal liberty. … A person’s right to complain is limited to principles he acknowledges himself.
    • John Rawls, “Toleration of the intolerant,” A Theory of Justice (1971), p. 217.
  • The doctrine of toleration requires a positive as well as a negative statement. It is not only wrong to burn a man on account of his creed, but it is right to encourage the open avowal and defence of every opinion sincerely maintained. Every man who says frankly and fully what he thinks is so far doing a public service. We should be grateful to him for attacking most unsparingly our most cherished opinions.
    • Leslie Stephen, The Nineteenth Century, vol. 13 (1883) p. 665.
  • Tolerating someone means accepting their right to exist on the condition that they don’t disturb us too, too much.
    • Justin Trudeau, as quoted by The Guardian, Justin Trudeau rules out burkini ban in Canada (23 August 2016)
  • When you speak in His presence about your past sins, He does not even understand your language. Only the present and the future have any interest for Him. … .I have committed crimes and have blood on my conscience. I told Jesus about it again and again. But because He had long ago washed all this away, there was no possibility of communication between us. He did not understand what I was talking about.
    • Richard Wurmbrand, If Prison Walls Could Speak (1972).
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