Intolerance usually raises its head when you consider the other person as “beneath” you. Then you think: How dare he do/say something that’s not aligned to my views? It is only towards the perceived “inferior” people – people who you presume you have power over – that you feel intolerant.
In contrast, when someone you feel as “superior” to yourself crosses these same limits, you tend to feel victimised and powerless. It’s a completely different feeling, because of the change of the stature of this “offending” party.
When the person you feel you have “power over” crosses a certain limit, then your intolerant behaviour shows up. You want to demean the person, crush him with your power – whether it is with your words, or through economic means, you want to destroy this person and wipe him down with your power.
Intolerance comes from Ego
All this comes from the Ego, which shows itself when you try to destroy the person through any means possible. A recent example is of the film star Aamir Khan, who spoke about his wife’s fears about living in an intolerant society. Soon after he had made the comment, the power of the masses of India raised its head. They showed their intolerance by hurling profanity at him and financially they tried to crush him by initiating a boycott of his films.
Intolerance is not a defence
Intolerance is highly destructive. It is an egoistic behaviour that is far away from your true Divine Self. Know that by being intolerant, you are not protecting or defending yourselves because you already know you are in a position of power. This power of the majority also shows up in sad instances of honour killings in this country, where the whole community gangs up to murder a couple in love, or boycott someone socially and financially for having crossed some limit.
Therefore, instead of engaging in such a destructive exercise, you must use your power to command, your power to communicate and your power to forgive, which above everything makes you reflect your Divine Self.