Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Tolerance Awareness Tuesday - Winston Churchill

No folly is more costly than the folly of intolerant idealism.

- Winston Churchill, 1874 – 1965 (http://www.qotd.org/archive/daily.html?date=2009-04-21)

It seems to me a bit strange to pick a Winston Churchill quote on tolerance, as he is more noted for his steadfast positions than for his appreciation of opposing arguments.

However, Brother Churchill was too good a leader, and too astute a politician, not to realize the extreme danger a person faces when he become blind to opposing views. When one becomes so convinced of the rightness of his position, he can ignore warnings to the contrary and stumble – to his detriment, as well as that of his organization, or his country.

As Churchill would have us know, being tolerant of another’s views is NOT to accept that they are right and true. He would use his many talents, including scathing sarcasm, to make his points. But in life, as in war, you neglect opposing views at your peril.

Masons should consider views that contradict their own. They should be willing to recognize those that have merits, but are not required to adopt as their own those beliefs which contradict their own deeply-held beliefs.