Intolerance and compassion
Some people get a little mixed up thinking intolerance is something wrong and that compassion should be reserved for our friends. I think it depends very much whether we are talking actions or people here.
For example, most people would consider the actions of Adolf Hitler and his henchmen absolutely intolerable. And I would agree with them and see nothing wrong in that. But what about Adolf Hitler and the other Nazi evildoers? Surely we should try, impossible, as it seems, to see that they were humans and only wanted happiness the same as us and are therefore worthy of our compassion. This is what His Holiness the Dalai Lama is telling us. We should definitely condemn the crimes the Chinese government are committing in Tibet but we should have nothing but wishes for the happiness and well being of the perpetrators. We could say that people like Hu Jintao are crazy but should we therefore go hating everyone who is mentally ill – even the Taliban or members of Al Qa’ida, if you like? No we should hope they regain their sanity and good health.
Some people are against abortion – they see it as murder in the first degree. But even though these people cannot tolerate what they see as the killing of an unborn child, they have no right to blow up the abortionists. No. We must have compassion for absolutely everyone – friends, strangers and enemies alike. We must also be at least tolerant of their existence, but we do not have to agree with everyone or tolerate all of their actions.