Opinionated and intolerant in my own way?

This is something that has been niggling me for sometime now and then I read a bunch of posts on being judgemental and judging.. So all this came out in this post.. This has been in the drafts for some time now and my thought might not be too coherent – as its feeling all mixed up and crazy right now 😦

Well, I was always quick at passing judgement on things which I did not agree with! ‘ Oh that woman is so regressive! or ‘That guy certainly thinks the world of himself’ , you know, in that sort of way..

Well, there is a colleague of my husband’s who came to him and said that his wife was doing some kind of fast , the next day – and would it be alright to come and give us the prasad. My husband replied that – ofcourse it would.. Later that day, he came and requested him to make sure that I don’t eat any onions and garlic that day – which was the very next day.

My husband came home and told me this and my first reaction was, ‘What’?!! The thing was that I was planning to use up the leftovers(some had onions and some had garlic) – as it was a Friday. It made me uncomfortable, I mean, in order to fulfill their request – I had to either not eat the leftovers and cook fresh – in which case the leftovers would go waste, or disregard the request and not worry about it.. My husband told me not to think too much – and in case they ask – he would just say that he forgot to tell me.. Well it niggled me the whole of thursday and on friday – I decided to eat the leftovers – as I did not have a choice – Had some work and could not cook afreash. Now, by this time, I had already judged them as very strict and very religious and was also a little angry at them for putting me in that position.. I had mental images of them all formed! My husband had earlier told me that this person, had very strong views about not sending his son to a ‘christian school’ – so that added to my mental image too 🙂 In the end, they did not ask me if I had had onions and garlic , (thank god() and they just came for a 5 mins stop by to give the prasad, so I did not really get to know them.. But it did make me wonder, if I was indeed being extra intolerant of somebody else’s faith? Was I too quick to judge..After all, all they did was,  make a request ? While they might be very particular about their faith – was I also, not being equally particular about my comforts – so, in what was was I different?

So when I say that I am passionate about something – and somebody is passionate about the exact opposite thing – can one of us be less tolerant – aren’t we both equally opinionated?

I am told, many a time that when I get going on women’s equality and freedom – I refuse to see another side. Does that make me intolerant? I think, I have come to the conclusion that – probably, yes. I do get overly passionate over things..

I know, it is easier to label regressive behaviour as intolerant behavior.. But I have started wondering, if , even in ‘progressive behaviour’, we do display intolerance?

For instance, my MIL would have wanted me to wear bichiyas – one of the signs of ‘married women’ . Now, I find it extremely painful and I do not wear it… While it is easy to say that my MIL is hanging on to her beliefs – am I also not doing the same thing ? Because, if I were tolerant – I would probably wear it…

How do we define tolerance and being opinionated? Do we even have a definition that fits and satisfies all of us? But then again, what are we,  if we do not have our beliefs, our opinions and with all this – does judgement come as a sideline?

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22 thoughts on “Opinionated and intolerant in my own way?

  1. We all end up being judgmental at one point of time or another, the thing is whether we can keep it in check, and be ready to amend our judgment. Also I think what is important is that we do not get overly critical in our view. But i somehow cannot picture you as being Judgmental Smitha, just cannot!

    GM, That was so sweet ot you – Thank you!!!!!
    I agree with what you say – ‘the thing is whether we can keep it in check, and be ready to amend our judgment. Also I think what is important is that we do not get overly critical in our view’

  2. as per what I know,
    I think opiniated means that I do something the way I like even if it goes against the grain and tolerance means that I do not interfere with other people’s beliefs…

    My roomie here does not eat egg, so what we do is use a Separate pan only for cooking eggs….and no non veg is cooked in house…
    That is what our opinion is.. and tolerance is that we put up with it…

    I dont follow many traditions in my house… My opinions.. but I dont put down anybody who follows them as well… my tolerance… 🙂 and I dont eat non veg in front of any family member….!!!

    MY faith is very simple… do what you want and let me do what I want… 🙂

    OG – My faith was exactly the same too – ‘ do what you want and let me do what I want… ‘ – i just get frustrated when I am expected to do things which I may not want to or if I am terribly inconvenienced by it.. and that makes me wonder if I am being too critical…

  3. don’t know how best to comment on this…

    being intolerant is totally different from being judgmental. or so i think now.

    both are bad in their own ways – intolerance and passing rash and hasty judgments…

    Pixie – agree totally on this – ‘both are bad in their own ways – intolerance and passing rash and hasty judgments…’

  4. Very fundamental question you have raised Smitha about regressive and progressive behaviour and intolerance. It is fashionable to label any so-called regressive behaviour as intolerant. In come cases that is true. But, there is a certain sense of misplaced superiority here that leads to people being judgmental and thereby often completely intolerant of the views who don’t conform to their own.

    As I have often said, it is the so-called liberals who are often intolerant to the point of being fascists. They are so sure that there way is the only right way, no matter what the environment or the social environment.

    I agree with you on this – ‘there is a certain sense of misplaced superiority here that leads to people being judgmental and thereby often completely intolerant of the views who don’t conform to their own’.

  5. this is a same question which is kept ringing in my mind.. me to quick in making judgment.. that prevents me from talking to that person freely.. even though I am trying to avoid this.. I am not able to.. but I am trying.. I feel that judging is not a fair thing.. as an individual we all differ in something…

    for this feel, one of the mother teresa’s saying is a reason..

    “If you judge people, you have no time to love them”

    I believe that its true.. 🙂

    Kanagu – Guess we are all human – so we will judge – even if we donot want to 😦 ‘If you judge people, you have no time to love them’ – Nice one 🙂

  6. Good question! But I want to ask, where does it end?
    Your MIL wants you to wear bichhiyas, the guy you don’t even know wants you not to eat onions, the guy on the street doesn’t want you to enter a pub, your friend tells you she will be hurt if you enter the temple when you have your period…you are being tolerant just by listening to all this. You are being tolerant because you are not trying to convert them. They are being intolerant because they are trying to convert you. It is no body’s business if I enter the temple when they think I shouldn’t. As long as I don’t call them regressive and demeaning and illogical on their face, they should not call me non religious and fast and lose on my face 🙂
    Live and let live. Don’t stop being friends with someone because of their beliefs.
    And if you do, then I have every right to judge you too. And if you believe in wife beating, I cannot be tolerant. There are things that are not as bad as wife beating but still demeaning to women. So somewhere I become intolerant too and decide who I want to hang out with.
    And I would do things if my MIL wants me to. She is too old to change now. But no way in hell am I going to pass it on. Thats where I draw the line.

    Agree with everything you say! Can’t add anything else:)

  7. Smi, You know the title of my blog, right? Am I still qualified to comment? 😀

    Well! I would just say,

    Whatever you say, say it with conviction. Whatever you do, do it with conviction.


    Sols – Would love to hear your ‘oppinionated veiws :)’ And yes – ‘Whatever you say, say it with conviction. Whatever you do, do it with conviction’ – I agree – which is why I sometimes find it difficult to do things which I do not agree on – in principle…

  8. This is probably off-topic but why do we have to have an opinion about everything? It really annoys me if people constantly ask what my opinion is about so-and-so actress, or newlywed bride in the family, or my new neighbour. Why should I HAVE TO have an opinion about them?

    Manju – ‘why do we have to have an opinion about everything?’ – Yes, we certainly do not – I am sure there are lots of things, which I just don’t care about – so have no opinion about them 🙂 ‘constantly ask what my opinion is about so-and-so actress, or newlywed bride in the family, or my new neighbour’ – Yes – I never thought about this – but you are right.. people do seem to want to know 🙂

    Re: being passionate about something- better be sure it is something REALLY important, that’s what I think.

    Agreed – being passionate is about caring very strongly about something, isn’t it? Doesn’t make sense if it is something which is not REALLY important. And again – ‘REALLY important’ can also be relative, can’t it? For me, female foeticide is something issue, I really feel strongly about- but I have actually come across people who just brush it off – as a ‘necessity at times’!!!!

  9. I like tearsndeams comment.

    I don’t think you were being intolerant in either cases, because you did not ask them to start eating onion and garlic, and you did not ask your mom in law not to wear bichias.

    I think in these two cases at least you are kind of justified.
    So no not intolerant at all, though maybe opinionated 🙂

    Anyway, being intolerant to intolerance is fine I think 🙂

    Thank you IHM, for being kind to me:) Yes, I have certainly been opinionated 😦 but can’t change ourselves totally can we?

    ‘Anyway, being intolerant to intolerance is fine I think :)’ – Totally!!!!!

  10. But, these 2 situations which you have mentioned here doesn’t qualify you as an intolerant or judgmental person!! 🙂

    Oh and me too liked the comment of tearsndreams and what vinod and IHM have said…

    Maybe, the situations were not apt 😦 Sorry abt that 😦 It was just a rant, to be honest…

  11. very thought provoking post:)….me feels that any mind that can think will have an opinion about anything and everything…if that is called being opinionated, then evrybody is.
    For me being intolerant means that…that couple doesnt give you parasad if u ate onion, but they gave so thay are tolerant people.

    Well, they did not ask me if I did – and nor did I volunteer that information – so we can’t really judge that they are tolerant, can we?.. In their position, I would have just given the prasad – without any pre-conditions.. Somehow the fact that they wanted me to not have onions and garlic.. did not sit right with me..

    Your MIL wanted you to wear Bichiyas but didnt force you when u didnt, so she is a tolerant person.
    Well , why would you assume that ‘Your MIL wanted you to wear Bichiyas but didnt force you when u didnt’?

    Standing up for anything which is good in the broader perspective is good, but being rigid in small things which wouldnt make any difference here and there is being intolerant.

    I have no issues with small things – if they are not causing any unnecessary physical discomfort. I wear them, when we visit them – but do not wear them anywhere else – because it actually hurts me. What I am trying to say is that what is a small thing for somebody – may actually be a bigger issue for somebody else…

    Personally I wouldnt mind doing little things to please my near and dear ones , even if they are little inconvenient, for me that s life..living for self but doing for others also.

  12. I guess we all should live by our rules.. As long as I dont force you to do anything that I believe in.. the key is “force”.. if its simply a request i guess its tolerant..

    Agreed 🙂

  13. I join tearsanddreams…

    nd we all have our opinions and fears… we try to be tolerant and sometimes we do certain things just to please others..

    Yes Happy Kitten – me too:)

  14. Ummmm….what are bichiyas;-P?????

    These are those rings that you wear on your toes 🙂 And I find it very painful – esp with shoes, you know 🙂

  15. ‘That guy certainly thinks the world of himself’

    Hopefully that line wasnt meant for me… coz i think i m clooney and hritik combined… ! lol… 😀

    Oh – how did you guess??? **Smitha looking all innocent **

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