Sunday, 23 January 2011

What is even more evil than intolerance? (there can only be one thing)

As ever on the internet it is possible to encounter something that makes you think (as well as a lot that doesn't). On Tumblr a site I have not joined but was referred to, I saw the question below with the suggestion that their could be only one thing worse than intolerance...

"What is even more evil than intolerance? (there can only be one thing)"

My immediate thought was tolerance of the intolerable as an answer...that which prevents the freedom of others interfering in law abiding and constructive lives. While I am a tolerant guy and willing to adapt where possible and to suck it in to make things happen as I am and continue to be very outcome focussed. As human trafficking, genocide, torture, abuse and rape are all things I think are great wrongs and should not be tolerated, they should be addressed through due legal process. If it is a smaller wrong or slight, this may be not practicable as other considerations inevitably in our messy world must be considered then I suppose long suffering is the alternative neither option appealing.

To paraphrase Burke 'All it takes for evil to triumph is for good people to do nothing'. I know I am not prepared to do nothing but equally I am measured in my responses as the optimal outcome is what I am working for and this is often not aligned with my own self interest, altruism. Working in the voluntary and community sector is comparatively under remunerated in cash terms. As I am not a reductionist and do value social capital, my perception is of creating a larger synergy which can fit under the term Big Society or more naturally for me community politics. In summary to stop evil and the politics of hate we need to subscribe to loving/caring or 'unconditional positive regard' as Carl Rogers calls it and a live giving, sharing politics.

Involvement in what happens, mucking in, caring about other people and generally making our locality a better place to live can be infectious and can make surprisingly large differences to peoples lives. Be active, be involved and lets make a difference together our Big Society starts with us and it is what we make it. Despite many attempts to legislate happiness, it is our quest and our adventure and we share our own with those we interact with as we are like or not to some extent interdependent and therefore our utility will affect others. This is a sacred quest to make the world better than we found it to reach our with availability and vulnerability to others and form real community, to make things happen for good and to seek what may be termed sustainable happiness, a more spiritual harmonised and cohesive society...God knows how but I am sure together we can have an impact, we can commit virtue and no matter the cost this is a cause worth living for!

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