Talk Tuesday

The current poll asks about the quality you think is most important to teach children. In Enough Frivolity, I asked you which of those characteristics you would use to identify yourself to others and which one you felt best describes you. So far, the two qualities we have not covered are tolerance and respect, tonight’s Talk Tuesday topic.


A brief consultation with Merriam Webster about the following results, pertinent to this discussion:


1     : capacity to endure pain or hardship : endurance, fortitude, stamina

a : sympathy or indulgence for beliefs or practices differing from or conflicting with one’s own
    b : the act of allowing something

The Merriam-Webster logo.


1 a : to consider worthy of high regard : esteem
   b : to refrain from interfering with <please respect their privacy>

2    : to have reference to : concern

Both tolerance and respect have a large similarity. They both connote allowing something, with which we need not identify, to exist without interference.


I am respectful.

When we identify ourselves as respectful, we often hold ourselves only to the definition of esteem. We exercise respect for authority, elders, government, even the environment.

Occasionally, we take the definition of concern. This respect is more for things: property lines, possessions of someone else, personal boundaries.

Much more rarely, do we adhere to the second part of the first definition: to refrain from interfering. While most of us will knowingly attempt to refrain from meddling in personal affairs, it is not something which we are met with great success.

For instance, we often feel a compulsion to provide unsolicited advice. Whether stemming from a socially blunted application of caring or from a superiority complex, we are inherently judging our audience or its actions as inferior.


I am tolerant.

The predominant social definition of tolerance is the second one. We consider ourselves tolerant when we do not actively pursue activities which homogenize.

The mere coexistence of differing populations without genocide is recognized as tolerance. The shallow recognition of the existence of other religions than the one we practice is considered tolerant.

Very rarely is the definition of endurance or fortitude applied as an identity trait associated with tolerance. We consider pain tolerance a physical attribute, but we fail to recognize emotional tolerance as an identity trait.

Flash Forward

Tolerance is considered a passive quality in today’s society. Respect is demanded without being earned. The two have become mutually exclusive.

My challenge is this:

Tolerance and respect are so interdependent they cannot exist solely.”

In order to respect someone or something outside ourselves, we must tolerate it. Likewise, to tolerate someone or something outside ourselves, we must respect it.


To identify ourselves with tolerance and respect regarding others, we must be willing to identify differences without stereotyping, prejudice or judgment. Both require knowledge, compassion and kindness.

To identify tolerance and respect within ourselves, we must take on the lesser definitions. Our inner tolerance is the strength to change and forgive ourselves. Our inner respect is refraining from interfering in our own individuality.

Let's Talk Tuesday.


Tonight, let’s discuss the ways we can respect our individuality while respecting how it differs from others and how we tolerate changing that individuality to grow emotionally.

You do not have to answer the questions, but they are a guideline for topics we can explore. Please do be respectful of others’ opinions. We are not discussing tolerating one another, yet we are exercising tolerance. We are discussing respect and tolerance of self.

How do you define your individuality? 

I have often told you I am intolerant. I claim myself as such because I rarely allow, most specifically ignorance, as I strive to educate.

Have you tolerated change and forgiven yourself for the change?

Many people see changes in their individuality as a defining moment where they realize the way they were as insufficient or unacceptable. Self-forgiveness is necessary to remember the lesson, not the hurt.

How do you respect yourself while respecting how different you are from others?

In an effort to fit into society, we often try to mitigate differences between ourselves and others by either changing ourselves or attempting to convince others to change. Rarely do we compromise in this instance.

Here is your chance to Talk Back. Let’s get Talk Tuesday underway. The floor is yours.


Based on audience request, tonight’s post will go live at 1900 EDT (GMT-5) so it can be read in advance of our discussion. If you cannot stay until 2000, feel free to leave your contribution in the comments. We will be discussing this in real time from 2000 until we are finished!

(c) Ann Marie Dwyer 2012
Reblogging of this or any other post on Momma’s Money Matters is expressly forbidden.
Copyright and Privacy Policy available in The Office. 
Leave a comment


  1. There are only a very few things that I am intolerant of;

    willful ignorance
    willful cruelty
    blind faith to the exclusion of others and their own faiths and beliefs
    prejudice and bigotry
    ideology to the exclusion of learning
    demands for forgiveness with the requisite remorse necessary

    Respect is a funny thing, I think you nailed it.

    • For me, willful ignorance is where I absolutely draw the line. We share so many of the others until I do not doubt our sisterhood. And thank you. Respect has been weighing on me recently, more than usual.

  2. I’m not sure I totally understand this, but maybe the convo will help. I am much more tolerant of others than I am of myself, but that is something I’m working on. Saw a show today – asked, “Who told you you’re unworthy?” YIKES! It’s amazing what I tolerate because I still struggle with those feelings (even though I’ve made tremendous progress). I am worthy of respect, and I need to respect myself if I ever want respect from others.

    • Yes, you do. Why are you unforgiving of yourself? Many changes are merely growth and are not of judging ourselves unworthy.

  3. I have always held myself to a higher standard. That’s ok, but not when I judge myself so harshly. I am only beginning to be myself.

    • This is where you must not compare. You are looking at yourself through the lens of how you make others accountable. Consider your high standard only as it applies to yourself. Then, you cannot judge so harshly because you are not comparing your execution of goals in comparison to those who are executing to a lower standard.

      Let’s use numbers:
      Someone else you are holding to a 5. They can reach 5. Chances are you rounded up from 4.5.

      You are holding to a 10. You reach 9. Celebrate 9. Forgive yourself the 1. Learn the lesson 1 holds. Try again.

      What the irony here is: Your 9 = Their 4.5, but you give them credit for hitting closer to the mark. Stop looking over the fence until you realize how green your own grass is.

      • I think you are exactly right in this Red. I had this problem for years and had the holes in my walls where I beat my head whenever I fell short of my own expectations. Now, I fall short, I simply figure out the problem pat myself on the azz, brush myself off and ….moving on start over.

        I try hard to do the same for those I love.

        I try hard to not to set high expectations for those I don’t know. I expect they will fail and thus can be happily surprised when they exceed my expectation. Once that happens I can slowly raise the bar.

        • I have been judged cynical in my approach to goal setting for others. I simply expect nothing. When I get it, I am not disappointed. However, when my expectations are based on employment, I set the bar at a standard level of service. Sadly, I am often disappointed.

          For myself, I have been told my standards are extraordinarily high. For me, they are standard. When I miss, I just reapproach. It works for me. Failure to me is merely a stepping stone. When it becomes an endpoint, the game is over.

  4. lol. I’m actually much closer to that than I was. I just spent a week 14/7 with my aunt and I was me! I didn’t have the thoughts of “what should I do here”…. that often have kept me of kilter. We had a great time and, except for the reason, enjoyed one another. It’s ok for me to be myself. What a freeing notion! I do still take on more responsibility than I should, but I’m learning. I wonder if others struggle with that? I sometimes think there are two kinds of people – those who take responsibility, and those who let them. One disrespects self and the other disrespects as well. Tolerating others is easier for the first and harder for the latter. — another blog post 🙂

    • So many things! Yes, you should always be yourself and have the confidence to try. If you fail, so what? (You are not a nuclear bomb target tester!) Forgive and move on…lesson learned.

      Responsibility: You are right. The two are mutually exclusive, and most of both are disrespectful. The one who takes the responsibility must learn NO is an acceptable answer for which no apology is needed. (Forgive compulsion to say “yes”…lesson learned…hurt (lack of sleep, energy, resources) avoided=double bonus.)

      Tolerance: Not sure I immediately see that. Why do the responsible ones tolerate more easily?

  5. I want to roll back to one of your other questions, now that I have a minute. Maybe two of your other questions – –

    First, how often do I define my own individuality? Have mercy, every single day when I roll out of bed I recognize I don’t quite fit with those around me. Not with my family, my neighbors or anyone else I know except perhaps those who have made it through all the walls I have meticulously built over the years.

    I do of course manage with great effort to keep a good face on some of the worst parts of it, thus am able to earn a living. Shockingly I earn a living in what is traditionally a fairly conservative and male dominated environment and do it without giving up my entire self.

    Do I get judged? OH HELL YES.

    For my choice in mate
    For my 13 tattoos
    For my 11 ear piercings
    For my multi-colored hair, some colors of which were not intended for human heads

    Do I get judged, LMAO

    There are lots of other things I get judged for, some are in my control some are not. Frankly, none of them are socially acceptable in most circles and any circle that dares to judge me for them are circles I want to play in.

    • And in embracing that individuality you are so very forgiving. You have a large tolerance for individual change, and those much deeper than the cosmetic. You recognize the value of flexibility without sacrificing the structural you. You understand putting on a mask to make a situation socially acceptable (especially on someone else’s terms) does not in any way change you.

      That feistiness is so intellectual. (Sees images of dinner party with Ken and Barbie.)

    • bear

       /  February 8, 2012

      We all get judged in one way or another and we are as a whole judgmental. I remember when I was young I was 4’11 and was very heavy and of course made fun of. I grew out of that and the people who judged me got old and fat. Aw sweet justice, but I know now that being judgmental is just ignorance.

      You are who you are and respect is gained when you show you’re a cut above. It makes no difference to me about body art, the color of one’s skin… it’s what’s inside that person that counts.

      • I have said it plenty of times….The box the package comes in gets thrown away.

        While the majority of judgment does stem from ignorance of (circumstances, feelings, reactions), as we age, judgment often becomes a gauge of self-worth. Those who judge on the superficial characteristics, often only have superficial characteristics. Their judgment is a reflection of how they see themselves, or want to see themselves.

  6. Tolerate the foibles of others more easily — from above.

    I am judged at times too (valentine’s post). I am heavy and have been almost all my life. There are some things that happened to me as a child that we don’t need to go into, but that, in the past, has always been at the forefront of my mind when I meet people…. It is a form of projected mind-reading. In reality, the judgement is in my own mind. Yes, there are some out there, but most people see beyond the outter things to the heart and love me without a thought of those things I tend to project onto them. The judge, the intolerant one, is me. How freeing to be who I am, issues and all, and not always be putting up walls to keep people from ‘finding out’ or getting the chance to hurt.

    I know this is universal – we all have our issues – and often age and wisdom lead us to the same acceptance of ourselves we give other people without thinking.

    • It is when we stop believing we are the person we believe we are projecting. In your case, you are finally begin to stop being the heavy one with childhood issues. In that self-discovery, you have found the real you the people who love you already knew you were.

    • I need to tell you something about being fat, I by the way don’t call it anything but what it is….fat. I am fat, I am obese. So that is what it is! Before I was hurt I was somewhat thin except I had an hourglass figure with big tata’s and hips. I was an athlete and was very body proud.

      Then bang, bang, bang. All gone all out of my control. Suddenly, well not so suddenly I was fat and not a damned thing I could do. For years I struggled with what that meant to me as a woman. How I would interact with the world, especially in a world that would judge me (there were all sorts of judgments and judges, I was the worst of them).

      Then one day I realized, I hadn’t fundamentally changed internally. Not really. I was still the same. Different because my life had changed but I was me.

      So now, some day when Cosmopolitan Magazine calls to do a profile on me for the Fun & Fearless women, well hell they will simply need a fold out!

  7. With Valentine – I would maybe not understand why you have the piercings, tattoos, etc., because they are not what I choose. However, when I look at you, I look beyond those things – they are merely surface trappings – to who you are beyond all that.

    Why are we so afraid of our own uniquenesses sometimes? We want to be unique and yet we want to be the same (read accepted). Why do we project on others thoughts they do not think? What does this have to do with tolerance and respect? Am I not disrespecting another if I assume the person is thinking “you’re disgusting” or some such, when that person has done no such thing – it was me thinking it. Am I not being intolerant when I don’t allow people the opportunity to get to know who I am? When I put up walls or make jokes before they can….?

    You got me thinking 🙂

    • You are thinking. You and I were typing the same thing at the same time. Like I told Val, putting on the mask is how we try to be accepted. It is not always necessary, but at times makes the meeting easier in a way which is perceived as compromise (third question). It is not a true compromise because we do not sacrifice our identities to wear the mask. We merely disregard our differences (or pretend they do not exist) to make interactions easier.

      I do not advocate wearing masks too often with Mate, but see the value of it in Quaint.

    • Actually my tats and piercings are more than surface they say something fundamental about me. Not just my rebellious nature but the story of my life. Each of my tats tell a story independently but they all are a map of my life. I got my first one at 17 and my most recent one only about 18 months ago.

      My earrings are a nod to my heritage.

  8. I think there has to be a certain amount of give and take when tolerance is being observed, I mean not everyone will see eye to eye on a lot of things, and even on the common ground considerations there can be conflict, this is where we must listen and try to evaluate each other’s ideas and try to find a common denominator, though some more argumentative types will never see the egalitarianism within any situation and those are the ones to avoid.

    Of course in order to reach a level playing ground we need to be able to liaise with one another, try to seek out some common traits and characteristics, perhaps even agree where necessary, which for some is definitely harder to achieve than others that are far more open-minded, but this doesn’t end the idea of expressing one’s own opinions. To be honest I am not so fussy if someone disagrees with what I have to say on certain things as this is how dialogue can begin, indeed if our governments could adopt a similar formula then maybe there wouldn’t be so many errors made, but that is certainly for another time, as politics is definitely a subject to avoid, okay enough of the jokes 🙂

    As for changing oneself to suit another ideal or vice versa, I am happy as I am and there is no need to change anyone else either as we are all individuals in our own right, which brings us back to my opening line where all we really need is to do, is to give and take a little more without pressing our own thoughts, ideas, agendas or whatever…

    Perhaps listening to the flip side of the coin sometimes helps…

    I hope that you are having
    a very nice evening Red 🙂

    Androgoth XXx

    • Very true and well said, Andro. The level of tolerance is predicated on identifying commonality. Regardless of the inclination to compromise, the admission such common ground exists can often be overwhelming to the one unwilling to give.

      As one of the more argumentative types, I do have a rather open mind. On the other hand, I am often far more interested in what education lies in the minds of others than the spilling of whatever may occupy mine, verbosity notwithstanding. 😉

      I hope you are having a warm and comfortable evening, Andro. Thank you for stopping to comment this evening.

      • Actually it is rather chilly here in the UK and the temperature is set to drop even lower overnight but never mind I have my Gothy socks on and can easily slip a hot water bottle down my…

        Kidding of course, cheeky 😉 lol

        I like your Talk Tuesday’s Red, if only our time zones were not so far apart I would be able to engage a bit more, as I always miss out on these events 🙁 to be honest I am missing out on a lot of your postings lately, I mean you are so quick to add your wonderful subjects and I am very slow to repond to them, but not just with yours, this failure is on everyone’s Spaces my great friend but I am trying to catch up a little here and there so I guess that is a step in the right direction…

        I can almost smell the coffee and so I will be going shortly but I have enjoyed reading all the other comments that have been offered here so far and later I will be back to continue with whatever thoughts I may have as the discussion widens…

        Be good, be wicked and above all, behave yourself Red 🙂 😉

        Androgoth XXx

        • I knew it was set to drop again. And worry not about being present and punctual, as I have noticed your absence on some other places we both haunt. Do take care to get enough rest. I saw Jen out a bit, so I hope she is getting back to the pink. I am on the way for a coffee myself, but I am halfway through the pot already.

          I will, I will and not likely 😉

          Talk to you soon,

      • Yes if Jen and I were at the same location then
        I wouldn’t be on here burning the candle at both
        ends again but life is often rather complex is it not
        Red? She is so much better now though and that
        is excellent news, that flu virus has taken simply
        ages to go, I was rather fortunate that when I got
        it, it was just a three day cold thingy 🙂

        Right I am off to make my coffee next,
        as I certainly need one that is for sure…

        Be Good Now or Else? 😉

        Androgoth XXx

      • You are welcome, I always
        enjoy your postings Red 🙂

        Have a nice rest of evening
        and a delightful Friday also 🙂

        Androgoth XXx

  9. Speaking of commonality, I think everyone of us, were we stripped of all our masks, are exactly like everyone else. We all need to be valued.

    • A few posts back in this series, I noted the fact we are all human with typical animal instincts. Behind the masks we are very much alike. As with all animals, as a species we have general characteristics which are more or less prevalent from animal to animal. As social animals, we especially have the need to be accepted by our peers and family.

  10. Valentine had a great list of things worthy of intolerance. To that I’d add,

    *Smokers (I’m a former smoker, and I’ve watched two family members die of lung cancer.)


    *Religious bigotry

    *Forming opinions on the basis of faulty information. (Don’t get me started or I’ll go into a political tirade.)

    *Offensive or loud music. I’m a trained musician, and there’s nothing worse than loud heavy metal, hip hop or music with a droning bass that makes the floor and walls of a house vibrate.

    *Homophobia – whether you or I agree or disagree with it, I believe that the sexual orientation of others is absolutely none of our business.

    *Physical or emotional abuse of any human or animal. No one deserves that.

    And I was judged for moving to Texas, for marrying my husband (even though we had been together for ten years before we were married,) for just about every place I’ve chosen to live, for the jobs I’ve had or not had….. The list goes on. I often get judged for my political and religious views because they’re too radical for people around me.

    I believe in letting people live their life as they see fit. I intervene when I think or suspect someone needs help, or when my wisdom may teach them something helpful.

    • You’ll need to forgive my square smoking in the tray. I am a 30+ year smoker who buried a husband with lung cancer. I do not, however, inflict it on others. Judgment is something to which we all fall prey at some time…some of us far more often than others.

      And abuse should never be tolerated under any circumstances.


    • Smoking is a choice we make, to say that we should not be tolerated is problematic for me and all the rest of us who make this choice. While I certainly sympathize with those who have lost family members to any disease, including lung cancer to claim ‘intolerance’ of others, well draws lines. Like Red I am a long time smoker (I have her beat by 10 years). Like Red I am respectful of others, I will however make a statement that she hasn’t made – I wish others were as respectful as me.

      As to loud music, I am married to a musician. He plays drums, piano and keyboard. He plays R & B, rock-n-roll, jazz, gospel and Caribbean music. I grew up listening to loud rock-n-roll and Soul and R & B. I love it all. My youngest son is also a musician, he plays Drums, bass and guitar he plays mostly rock-n-roll. My house has been filled with loud music for as long as I can remember, everything from 60’s Rock to current Rap. Music is music, while we might not not like it all (most Rap has little to redeem it) it all has something to offer.

      I was trained in classic Ballet. I saw all the classic operas in some of the great opera houses of Europe. But the thing is, there is honestly room for everything. Until my husband married me he had never heard, really listened to an Opera or a Classical Concert, now he loves them. He had never really listened to Lyle Lovett, now he can tolerate some of his music. To simply dismiss entire genre’s as “less than” means we would miss some great artists, great movements even. Music has moved people throughout history.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

CommentLuv badge

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.