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Spirit & Tolerance

The subject of tolerance is prevalent in both our society at large and within spiritual circles. Indeed tolerance for others “different” from ourselves reaches far and wide into the realms of spiritual growth. This essay is not about the “usual” forms of tolerance discussed in social/spiritual magazines, books and spoken monologues. It is not about tolerance for those of religions different than yours. It is not about tolerance for our various races. It is not about tolerance for those of various sexual preferences. It is not about tolerance for the disabled. It is not about tolerance for the opposite sex. These prejudices are well documented and need not be referred to in this article. The tolerance I wish to discuss candidly here is upon a lifestyle which is pervasive in our world and I, like many of you, have difficulty not objecting to. This is about tolerance for incompetence!

How many times at the drive-thru have you gotten home and discovered your order incorrect? How many inane commands do you tolerate from your place of business - commands that make no sense and do not help but hurt your work production? How many telemarketers switch your services even after you say no? How often do you look at your countries leadership and shake your head?

A recent study demonstrated that 80% of Americans were incompetent. Most of those don’t even realize this. The cartoon strip character demonstrates the overwhelming need for reform in our entire way of thinking. The devastation to our natural environment seems to uphold these viewpoints. How much is too much?

It is difficult indeed when faced with obvious stupidity to remember our spiritual natures. When the proselytes of (fill-in-your-favorite-missionary-group) knock at your door to discuss why your soul would be salvaged by paying their church leaders a weekly tithe, it is difficult to not use our favorite weapon against incompetence...sarcasm.

The question is should we tolerate this or not? Is it our prejudice against incompetent people necessary as a survival skill...or are we making the problem worse? Is not just as incompetent to be a spiritual guide for others and then reject those who most need the help because they are stubborn? It is easy to teach the open-minded, but perhaps we should be focusing on those who claim to least need our help.

I often catch myself day after day with feelings of disgust when I look about me and see the armies of fools marching forward.... believing in the propaganda that even blinder men have shoved upon them. I look at commercials on the television... radio advertisements... I look at the way our youth emulates “gangsta’s” and “pimps” and shake my head. I tire at hearing all these would be doctor’s inform me that smoking will kill me. I am tired of people assuming to think for me.

What can and should be done? This is no small matter. We can look at incompetence as a choice... a preference... even a learning tool. Learn to tolerate these occurrences and use subtlety instead of sarcasm. The sheep will flock to the wolves... we can either yell or prod them back to safety.

This is one option, and frankly I think that it is turning a blind eye on a bad problem for the sake of avoiding confrontation (some of us spiritual types avoid this rather than learn how to effectively deal with it). I feel that allowing these incompetent types to continue unchecked with the deepest hope that they will eventually grow is tantamount to social suicide. These are my feelings... if you do not share them I understand.

Our second option is to get off our lazy butts (myself included), stop being incompetent ourselves and start dealing with the World Gestalt, the group mind of the planet. If we remove the need for ego-competition (the source of most incompetence), remove the need to accumulate useless information, remove the need to emulate “stupid” icons, remove the need to control the lives of others, remove the need for material gain as an ego-tag, remove many of these false needs... and put in their place the clues to achieving spiritual fulfillment, would this not do the trick? Isn’t this the type of thing we all incarnated to do in this life?

Until we do people will continue to worship books as gods. People will continue to create reasons for their jobs - even at the detriment of others. People will still find characters like “Bart Simpson, Beavis and Butthead, Forest Gump, Dumb and Dumber and others of such ilk” heroes (and no, I do not blame Hollywood for our social ills. I feel that movies and television are only a reflection of what is prevalent in that society already.) People will continue campaigns against free will/free choice and continue to destroy their own habitat for the money that use to identify themselves.

It is wonderful that we spend so much energy to improve ourselves... to make ourselves better Spirits. It is wonderful that we are growing and evolving. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could show this to the World?