Essay On Tolerance By Em Forster

The fact is we can only love what we know personally. In public affairs, in the rebuilding of civilisation, something much less dramatic and emotional is needed, namely, tolerance. This is the sound state of mind which we are looking for.This is the only force which will enable different races and classes and interests to settle down together to the work of reconstruction. If you don't like people, kill them, banish them, segregate them, and then strut up and down proclaiming that you are the salt of the earth.

It leads us into perilous and vague sentimentalism. No one has ever written an ode to tolerance, or raised a statue to her.

"Love is what is needed," we chant, and then sit back and the world goes on as before. Yet this is the quality which will be most needed after the war.

I shouldn't try to love them: I shouldn't feel inclined.

They have broken a window in my little ugly flat for one thing, and they have done other things which I need not specify.

Phrases like "I will purge this nation," "I will clean up this city," terrify and disgust me.

They might not have mattered so much when the world was emptier: they are horrifying now, when one nation is mixed up with another, when one city cannot be organically separated from its neighbours.

And, another point: reconstruction is unlikely to be rapid.

I do not believe that we are psychologically fit for it, plan the architects never so wisely.

Don't try to love them; you can't, you'll only strain yourself. On the basis of that tolerance a civilised future may be built.

Certainly I can see no other foundation for the post-war world.


Comments Essay On Tolerance By Em Forster

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