Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Acceptance over Tolerance : The severed head of sacred cow.

I must thank a local TV Channel for reminding me about the 8 values of 1 Malaysia in their talk show on the 52nd Merdeka Day with Lee Lam Thye (Tan Sri) and Dr. Chandra Muzzaffar as their guests.
Something that one of the hosts said attracted me more than all other insignificant murmurings and mutterings. The body languages of everyone present seem to suggest that one of the 8 values and that is “Acceptance” as opposed to tolerance should be the new approach that all Malaysians should embrace.
A quick check on the prime minister’s website 1Malaysia.com reveals the following:-
“ACCEPTANCE
On the importance of acceptance over tolerance
I think there's quite a big difference between the two (tolerance and acceptance). I think when you say you tolerate, you don’t quite like it, but you accept it because you have no choice. But if you talk in terms of acceptance, it indicates a state of mind that you are embracing something positively. I think it's important for us to migrate from this concept of mere tolerance to acceptance. Acceptance in the sense that you are ready to accept things. If you’re willing to accept things, if you embrace things willingly, then I think your capacity to look at things in a more positive manner is much better than mere tolerance.”
I am afraid the prime minister though in his heightened consciousness and sharpened conscience endeavors to rebrand and promote a new culture but the prime minister too must understand that there cannot be a universal and total substitute for tolerance by acceptance.
The complexity of a multicultural society complicates the usage, performance and spirit of words and phrases. Some areas are best tolerated as gray area rather than accepting it and we must allow time with an honest reflection to devise a mechanism in which there will be mutual respect for each other.
So when the prime minister said that “I think when you say you tolerate, you don’t quite like it, but you accept it because you have no choice.” perhaps the prime minister had not considered that it is only a state of physical appearance by a deceptive mental projection that reveals a false sense of visual manifestation of “no choice” and any person who observes the physical state would appreciate and understand that there exists a revolting energy vibrating around the person who is in a state of tolerance and given time this energy would eventually translate into a combined, cumulative and potent force that may translate into mental and physical force sufficient to rebel against the elements that break the threshold of tolerance.
The simplistic interpretation of acceptance over tolerance opens up a plethora of colliding questions that touches on personal values on the sophisticated debate between Fate and Freewill.
I can, for now accept somethings as fate, that a child in birth must meet death in old age but this does not mean that I must sit and accept everything that happens to me that brings me unhappiness and this is where I would like to exercise my freewill to tolerate it for a time until it reaches a critical point of unacceptability in which I must make choices in life to confront it.
I can accept that people kill animals for food but as it is not within my power to prohibit the killing of animals for sporting purposes like the slaying of bulls by matadors, I can only tolerate it and at the same time display my displeasure in such a way that one day we may reach a critical mass of people to implement an outright prohibition of killing of animals for sporting events.
But my value of killing of animals for a certain purpose may collide with a vegetarian who for now may tolerate killing of animals for food and may engage in the same process above to attain a critical mass for change but until then he too can only tolerate.
Now it brings me to this final analysis of acceptance over tolerance.
Am I now supposed to sit back and accept the conduct of some individuals parading a severed cow head with blood splattered all around it?
No matter how I look at it, either from a religiously sensitive issue to cruelty to animals, one thing is certain and that is, I cannot accept this despicable act. And as it is not within my power to act against the people involved in this uncouth behavior, I could only tolerate it and translate my unacceptability into writings that may eventually draw like minded people into a critical mass that can demand change for mutual respect.
A state of acceptance may give rise to a phenomenon where the strong and powerful are likely to abuse the weak and meek and the weak and meek can do nothing but accept this predicament.
However an environment where there is mutual respect may promote a society in which the strong and powerful are just and fair whilst the weak and meek are protected and secure.
news source from:- http://www.perakspeak.com/v2/

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