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Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Tolerance - too much or too little?

Are we more tolerant as a society these days? I’ve been thinking about this question over the past few days and honestly do not have an answer. We are definitely more aware than we were in the past. The dos and don’ts of social behavior are pretty well known. In media, I can think of dozens of people who have negatively affected their careers because of something they have said or done via the social network. Due to social media, everyone is under the microscope on a smaller scale.

I can’t tell if we are actually more tolerant of things or just scared of being in a confrontation.  Perhaps we are just indifferent to what is happening. It seems like any time a serious issue comes up in conversation we seem to be walking on egg shells around the other person hoping not to offend anyone. As we become more accepting of people (and poor service and quality), we have engaged less in the conversation. This doesn’t just go for social issues it happens in our personal and work lives as well. Are we going soft or is this tolerance at work? On the other hand, has indifference crept into our lives in so many areas that we automatically block out unacceptable behavior?

In particular, look at customers and quality of service. How often do we ignore poor service from companies and individuals because we have come to expect poor performance and are not surprised when we get it? We actually seem to be more surprised at outstanding service than at horrific experiences! Well, the more we tolerate the bad the more bad we seem to find.

Perhaps it's time to demand a higher standard in all we do and expect to receive it as well.  When we don't - COMPLAIN!  Sometimes tolerance can be seen as complacency - and complacency is not our friend!

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