Intolerance as a virtue.
It is not uncommon in our day to hear of people trying to shut down opposing points of view by labelling them as hateful, bigoted, intolerant and narrow-minded. As if it’s not okay for someone to insist on the rightness of their view. But it’s quite okay to insist on the wrongness of it.
However, insistence on what something “is not” is just as narrow-minded, bigoted and intolerant, as insistence on what that something “is”. In other words, insisting against something is just as intolerant as insisting in favour of it.
Insistence is intolerance.
It doesn’t matter what you’re insistent about; insistence, in and of itself, makes you intolerant.
Because to insist is to assert emphatically; to persist resolutely; to demand firmly. So it doesn’t matter whether you’re insisting for or against; it doesn’t matter whether you’re in the majority or the minority; it does’t matter whether your insistence is gentle or harsh; the moment you insist is the moment you become intolerant.
Insistence of any kind is intolerance.
Doesn’t matter whether you’re black or white, rich or poor, powerful or powerless, male or female, young or old … Insistence is intolerance.
Regardless of what the cause is. Regardless of by whom it is perpetrated.
Think about that for a moment.
Because if you think about it, really contemplate it, you will see that intolerance can actually be a good thing. Intolerance can be beautiful. Intolerance can be a virtue.
Because when you insist on truth, you’re intolerant towards lies. When you insist on freedom, you’re intolerant towards suppression. When you insist on what is good, you’re intolerant towards evil. When you insist on love, you become intolerant of hate.
Think about that.
Love and intolerance can go together. Freedom and intolerance can hold hands. Truth and intolerance can kiss.
So the next time someone tells you to stop being intolerant of their view, or to stop insisting on your own view, make them aware of the insistence that they themselves are practicing.
Don’t be afraid to point out that insistence against a specific view is just as intolerant as insistence in favour of it.