‘’Resolve to be tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving, and tolerant of the weak and the wrong. Sometime in life, you will have been one of these.” – George Washington Carver
The last few decades have seen intolerance grow exponentially. Human relationships are strained daily due to the inability of affected persons to tolerate one another. Equally, the youth are not showing any sign of restraint. Intolerance has now become a time bomb awaiting explosion. Incongruously, the Not-Too-Young-To-Run movement that was initiated to advocate youth inclusion in governance and politics has failed to address the value deficit amongst the young ones. How can the new generation that is intolerant towards one another perform differently than the older generation? Can we say the youth in Nigeria have the right values to lead differently?
Recent experiences show that the average youth easily get angry and lack the discipline to control his/her emotions. Differential views are easily tagged as provocations and every conversation is seen as a chance to show superior intellectual capacity. And when the parties involved are not complacent, utterances become abusive and reactions escalate to violence. The way we handle daily provocations determines how tolerant we can be in leadership roles. When someone tells you that you are stupid, what is your response? One major rule when driving is to have the mindset that you are the only sane individual on the road. The same rule should be applied in the face of daily provocation or differential views by assuming such. Never let the attitude of the other person alter your good character. In the face of insults, ignore or walk away.
Also, another issue that needs to be addressed is the act of deviating from constructive criticism for abuse and insults just to assert an opinion. No matter what happens, never be quick to get angry. Think before you speak! Be humble and respect everyone including the elderly. Young people can assume leadership positions when they exhibit true virtues that differentiate them from the older generation.
Tolerance is a key feature of good human relationship and without which, the world risks losing its peace. In a world where you can be anything, be tolerant. THOU SHALL NOT BE MAD!
Tanimola Kolade is a Social Commentator and Strategist. He tweets from @tanimolakolade