I watched with tears filling my eyes as the sister of the MP Jo Cox talked about the past 48 hours and the impact on her family. She spoke from the heart about the terrible situation they have had to deal with since events on Thursday. I don’t think anyone can watch the short speech without feeling a huge amount of love for all those affected by the incident and its aftermath.
People have been incredibly supportive and have been talking about love conquering fear and tolerance being the vital ingredient to modern life that we need to cherish. Tolerance is often in short supply and even absent within our communities. How many times do you hear people moaning about their neighbours? It is easy to view our own way of life as the ‘right one’ and to look down on, or not tolerate, those that are different.
I have found myself doing that very thing on occasions including when the new neighbours and their children are being really loud. As I don’t have children it can be frustrating that the peace and quiet of my home is shattered by the over-enthusiastic children next door. But I have to check myself and make sure I am being tolerant. They are doing no-one any harm so why should I impose my life on them?
We all see our own way of life as the way to be. It can mean we develop tunnel vision and are unable to look at the world through the eyes of others. I don’t think this is a healthy way to be at all. It makes us self-obsessed, opinionated and above all intolerant of others. In a world where we have to live in close proximity to many other people this is not acceptable.
As we head into another week, I hope we can all remember that tolerance is an important part of life in 2016.