The Beginnings of Tolerance


The word “tolerance” can be noted as one of the most crucial words within society today. In order to live and interact in a fair and civil society, one must be TOLERANT of others, TOLERANT of religions, and TOLERANT of race. The word itself and the actions that it brings forth holds the power to shape who we are as a person as well as where we stand within society and its judgments.

Formal Defintions:  

1. a fair, objective, and permissive attitude toward those whose opinions, practices, race, religion, nationality, etc., differ from one’s own; freedom from bigotry.

2. A fair, objective, and permissive attitude toward opinions and practices that differ from one’s own.

3. Interest in and concern for ideas, opinions, practices, etc., foreign to one’s own; a liberal, undogmatic viewpoint.

4. The act or capacity of enduring; endurance: My tolerance of noise is limited.

5. Medicine/Medical, Immunology .

     a. The power of enduring or resisting the action of a drug, poison, etc.: a tolerance to antibiotics.

     b. The lack of or low levels of immune response to transplanted tissue or other foreign substance that is normally immunogenic.


The etymology of tolerance began in the early 15th century, “endurance, fortitude” from tolerans prp. Of tolerare “to bear, endure, tolerate”. Meaning “allowable amount of variation” dates from 1868; first recorded in 1875.


“ in the practice of tolerance, one’s enemy is the best teacher”

– Dalai Lama

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1 Comment

  1. Colleen: That Dalai Lama quote is so true!


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