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  • Americans (I, I'm afraid, among them) go around carelessly assuming they're tolerant the way they go around carelessly saying, 'You ought to be in pictures.' But in the clinches, they turn out to be tolerant about as often as they turn out to be Clark Gable.

  • Toleration is the greatest gift of the mind; it requires the same effort of the brain that it takes to balance oneself on a bicycle.

  • The responsibility of tolerance lies with those who have the wider vision.

  • The last refuge of intolerance is in not tolerating the intolerant ...

    • George Eliot,
    • letter (1857), in J.W. Cross, ed., George Eliot's Life as Related in Her Letters and Journals ()
  • There is nothing I should care more to do, if it were possible, than to rouse the imagination of men and women to a vision of human claims in those races of their fellow-men who most differ from them in customs and beliefs.

    • George Eliot,
    • letter to Harriet Beecher Stowe (1876), in J.W. Cross, ed., George Eliot's Life as Related in Her Letters and Journals ()
  • Every hen thinks she has laid the best egg! Can we not all believe as we choose? But the choice of others — what is that to us? Let them alone ...

  • No emergency excuses you from exercising tolerance.

  • Tolerance cannot afford to have anything to do with the fallacy that evil may convert itself to good.

  • It takes a good many years and some pretty hard knocks to make people tolerant.

  • Those wearing Tolerance for a label / Call other views intolerable.

    • Phyllis McGinley,
    • "In Praise of Diversity," The Love Letters of Phyllis McGinley ()
  • ... I am he / Who champions total liberty — / Intolerance being, ma'am, a state / No tolerant man can tolerate.

  • Oh, that in religion, as in everything else, man would judge his brother man by his own heart; and as dear, as precious as his peculiar creed may be to him, believe so it is with the faith of his brother!

  • Traditional morality ... does not teach us how to let the other follow his or her own path, meet with whomever he or she desires, go where he or she wants.

  • 'I always excuse everybody,' says Mrs. Wilding-Weekes, 'I'm bound to — they have always such a lot to excuse in me.'

  • We need not be too strict in seeing / The failings of a fellow being.

    • Mary Ann Lamb,
    • "The Rook and the Sparrows," Poetry for Children ()
  • I'm perfectly willing for people to believe what they want, but fundamentalists do not seem willing to let the rest of us believe what we want.

  • ... sometimes the truest kindness is in giving people their own unwise way ...

  • If there's anything intolerance can't tolerate, it's ridicule!

  • It is not only more polite, but more self-respecting, to 'take offense' slowly.

  • Real charity and a real ability never to condemn — the one real virtue — is so often the result of a waking experience that gives a glimpse of what lies beneath things.

  • Modern existence has thrown many civilizations into close contact, and at the moment the overwhelming response to this situation is nationalism and racial snobbery. ... Contempt for the alien is not the only possible solution of our present contact of races and nationalities. It is not even a scientifically founded solution. Traditional Anglo-Saxon intolerance is a local and temporal culture-trait like any other. ... we have failed to understand the relativity of cultural habits, and we remain debarred from much profit and enjoyment in our human relations with people of different standards, and untrustworthy in our dealings with them.

  • There's a big difference between tolerance and approval, and I have no right to expect or demand the latter from anyone.

  • Tolerance enlarges the circle of our acquaintances.

  • The work done by the tramps at the Mission was slow and sometimes very aggravating. ... Invariably, they had to be coaxed, humored and cajoled a lot in order to get much work out of them. But by keeping a good sized cemetery in our hearts in which to bury their faults, we did manage to get along quite peacefully.

  • ... we should not permit tolerance to degenerate into indifference.

  • Even the word Tolerance is intolerable. No person has a right to tolerate another.

    • Amalie Taubels,
    • letter (1839), in Joseph L. Baron, ed., A Treasury of Jewish Quotations ()