Tolerance and Compassion

Tolerance and compassion are the words I am focusing on today. Last evening a dear friend offered them to me in a blessing, so that I would have more tolerance and compassion all day, every day.

When I closed my eyes, the image I got from the word tolerance was a lighthouse way out in the water away from the shoreline, but in shallow waters that could cause shipwrecks. I could f eel the pounding waves yet the lighthouse would still stand even in the worst storms. The light in the tower would also stay lit, no matter what.

My great-great grandmother’s great grandmother (so six generations before me) was an American Indian, Chippawah princess in the Wisconsin area. My six generations ago grandfather was a light house keeper on Lake Superior. They met and married. I had to really hunt through family records to discover they were married and had children who were then my ancestors. There were slang like words used by the older generations to describe someone with “squaw blood” as one child every other generation after that had some decidedly Native American features. My lighthouse keeper’s family had to tolerate criticisms and hatred, and that affected even their descendants to a lesser degree.

My ancestors then endured suffering, and stood strong like the lighthouse. I think that might be one reason why lighthouses are so appealing to many. The lighthouse keepers were soldiers, sentry of the light, who risked everything to keep others safe.

Today, many lighthouses are now automated with an electronic light that comes on at dusk. There is no need for people to live for months at a time out on a desolate lighthouse. So the tolerance I see that is most prevalent now is of people who don’t look like me, think like me, act like me, and all the other permutations of separation. The time now is to see how we are one.

It is so ingrained to think in terms of separation and intolerance rather than unity and tolerance. Society has all sorts of terms which mask separation. Independence is all about separating oneself from another. The United States separated itself from England, and it is celebrated every year in July. It is far removed from a healthier perspective of interdependence, where we each have things to offer each other and is a closer step to being one people. Intolerance is also quite popular. This could be done with building walls or building churches. It doesn’t matter the medium; the end result is one group is divided from another.

Tolerance is difficult to understand in a 3D world. Recently, it is most often associated with sexual preferences, mainly the whole world should be tolerant of the LGBQT members and movement and all their expressions. Intolerance is associated with some “ism” mark citing the individual as hating some other group. The separation only intensifies the more each group or culture waves a flag or marches for others to recognize their lifestyle or beliefs as being better or true and all others as worse or false. I wondered what it would be like if the parades were to celebrate all life, all expressions. The parade would be an expression of all humanity, and not marked by differences.

In meditation today, I reflected on some of the worst characters I know in society whom have caused harm to others and appear to exist in a purely service to self existence. I looked to see the spark of soul in their heart, the spark that ignites compassion, tolerance, and love. Sadly, their soul pilot light was mostly burned out. It was like the gasping little light of a candle before it dies out.

I said the Hoponopono prayer from Hawaii in my mind and heart for just one individual in the group I had imagined. I said to myself:

I’m sorry.

Please forgive me.

I thank you.

I love you.

I repeated this over and over again for about ten minutes. Their pilot light of a soul grew just a fraction larger. That individual I had seen so angry and harmful to others I then began to see in a new light. That person was at their core, in a very hidden place, afraid. This person was afraid of being poor, so amassed many millions of dollars by dealing with those who also were very much service to self. This person was afraid of dying, so spent many hundreds of thousands of dollars to keep themselves looking youthful despite what their age might dictate. This person actually felt very lonely. They had built a huge wall around their exclusive property, and that physical wall was a reflection of the wall around their heart. As a result of meditating on just this one person, I felt a surge of compassion for them that I had never experienced before. And then I imagined them as a little toddler, perhaps three years old, crying for attention, hungry, and cold. Instead of feeling intolerance, I felt tolerance and compassion to their three year old self.

That meditation didn’t end with all rainbows and butterflies though. I got a real sense that the individual did not want to change. They weren’t happy, but also didn’t want to change to suddenly give away their millions and be a loving person with service to others. And I was reminded that I am not here to change others. I am here to change myself. I am here to love people for who they are.

In my desire to bring heaven to Earth, I am reminded I need to start with myself. I need to continue to be tolerant of all people, and looking within them to find their inner child or flickering soul pilot light if their outward appearance and actions are not very loving. I work with this. The news is filled with opportunities to love another, and extend tolerance and compassion, one person at a time.

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