Question: How can we become more tolerant and understanding?

Sri Chinmoy: First think of how many millions of things you have done wrong since you have been in this body. You will be able to count at least ten undivine things. Out of millions of things you have probably done wrong, you will be sincere enough to admit at least ten things. Then ask yourself if anybody has forgiven you. Naturally God has forgiven you. If He had not forgiven you, by this time you would have been in the other world. But when somebody else does something wrong, you become angry and want to punish that person. Try to count how many things that person has done wrong to you. He may have done many, many things wrong in his life but perhaps he has done only two things wrong to you; whereas you are the culprit for at least ten individual items, and the Supreme has forgiven you.

God exercises forgiveness. In your case and my case, what we exercise will be called the strength of oneness. Yesterday I did something wrong, and God forgave me. How is it that today I cannot identify myself with someone else and feel that the very thing that he has done, I could have done? What he has done wrong today, I can easily do tomorrow. I should be grateful to God that I did not do it today, and remember that tomorrow there is every possibility that I will do that very same thing.

We should sympathise with the person who has done something wrong, or on the strength of our oneness, we should tolerate it. Toleration is not an act of weakness. Far from it! Toleration is the acceptance of reality at a different level of consciousness. Mother Earth, the trees, the oceans and the mountains, do they not tolerate us? We do many, many things wrong; we abuse them in millions of ways. Yet they forgive us and nourish us continually. We are able to use every part of them for our own purposes.