Acceptance The greatest gift that you can give to others is the gift of unconditional love and acceptance. —— Brian Tracy

Acceptance – God wants us to make friends with everyone no matter how different they may look of act.

Acceptance is the ability to respect the dignity and rights of all persons, even those whose beliefs and behaviours differ from our own. Everyone should strive to love and respect their neighbour, as they love and respect themselves.

Tolerance - Acceptance - Understanding

Tolerance is a fair, objective, and permissive attitude toward those whose opinions, practices, race, religion, nationality, etc., differ from one's own; freedom from bigotry.

Acceptance in human psychology is a person's assent to the reality of a situation, recognizing a process or condition (often a negative or uncomfortable situation) without attempting to change it, protest, or exit.

Tolerance and Acceptance are both virtues. Tolerance is a version of the golden rule in that, insofar as we want others to treat us decently, we need to treat them decently as well. It is also a pragmatic formula for the functioning of society, as we can see in the omnipresent wars between different religions, political ideologies, nationalities, ethnic groups, or other us-versus-them divisions. It is a basis for the First Amendment protections that enabled the United States to avoid the religious strife that plagued Europe for centuries. (And it is a reason to be skeptical of slogans such as “Zero Tolerance.”)

Acceptance goes a step beyond tolerance. If a sign of tolerance is a feeling of “I can live with X (behavior, religion, race, culture, etc.)” acceptance moves beyond that in the direction of “X is OK.” You can tolerate something without accepting it, but you cannot accept something without tolerating it. For example, when a son or daughter tells a parent about an unwelcome career choice, marital partner, or sexual identity, he or she wants that information not just to be tolerated, but to be accepted.

Moving beyond tolerance and acceptance, we come to a third concept: understanding. Here is Wikipedia’s shortened definition:

Understanding is a psychological process related to an abstract or physical object, such as a person, situation, or message whereby one is able to think about it and use concepts to deal adequately with that object.

It is possible to tolerate or accept someone without understanding him or her; and the same goes for tolerating or accepting a different culture. And the converse is also true. It is also possible to understand a culture or a person without acceptance, or even tolerance.

An accepting person is:

willing to treat everybody as a member of a group; non-judgemental; welcoming to those different than himself/herself; and loving and happy with who he/she is.

The virtue of Acceptance means we accept ourselves and others, just the way we are. God created all of us in His image, and God does not make mistakes. Being part of Gods family means that we love and welcome everyone just the way Jesus did. Sometimes we find ourselves in situations where it is easier to follow the crowd than to stand up for what we know is right. However, Jesus wants us to accept everyone even when it is hard.

However, when the golden virtue of Acceptance become excessive, the well-intentioned concerns and special treatments may also overwhelm the target groups.

For example, when we talk about racial issues in public and emphasize the problem too much or exaggerate the reality, the target group may even feel more unconfident.

The Golden Virtue of Acceptance is to embrace diversity, accept them as who they are and as one of us, instead of appealing to everyone to protect them and treat them carefully as minority.

For proof that rejection, exclusion, and acceptance are central to our lives, look no farther than the living room, says Nathan Dewall, a psychologist at the University of Kentucky. “If you turn on the television set, and watch any reality TV program, most of them are about rejection and acceptance,” he says. The reason, DeWall says, is that acceptance—in romantic relationships, from friends, even from strangers—is absolutely fundamental to humans.

God grant me the serenity

to accept the things I cannot change;

the courage to change the things I can;

and the wisdom to know the difference.

—— Reinhold Niebuhr

Bibliography:

“Virtue of the Month of May: Acceptance.” LVA Blog, 4 May 2013, lumenveritatisacademy.wordpress.com/2013/05/04/virtue-of-the-month-of-may-acceptance/.

“Tolerance, Acceptance, Understanding.” Psychology Today, www.psychologytoday.com/blog/looking-in-the-cultural-mirror/201402/tolerance-acceptance-understanding.

“Social Acceptance and Rejection: The Sweet and the Bitter.” Association for Psychological Science, www.psychologicalscience.org/news/releases/social-acceptance-and-rejection-the-sweet-and-the-bitter.html#.WLBNnDs8SlI.

“Articles for Leadership » The Real Deal.” Rand Golletz Performance Systems, www.randgolletz.com/articles/2016/11/acceptance-is-a-virtue/.

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