The Virtue of Tolerance: A Gift from Folk Heritage to A World Torn by Conflict
Dr. Muhammad Al-Jawhary
The theoretical and empirical study of heritage clearly shows its tolerant essence, which is built on a positive perspective of natural and human life, and its interest in positive emotions such as optimism, love, and joy.
Studies highlight that inherited folk heritage enhances the flexible side of life. It interprets beliefs, rituals, and traditions with flexibility, and elevates the values of patience, adaptability, respect for others, and acceptance of diversity in the behaviours of various segments of society.
The chapters of this study, which I saw as a new direction in the field of applied folklore, indicate that tolerance also disapproves of conflict and facilitates communication among individuals. Studies of folk heritage may help to guide cultural policy, shed light on common thoughts, and point the way towards a confident footing in the contemporary cultural landscape.
To be accepted into the globalised society that cages us, sometimes against our choice, we must demonstrate tolerance through our actions, not just our words. I almost want to add “sanctify it” for our own good and the good of others who interact with us.
It goes without saying that our folk heritage and the traditional values that we have inherited have been severely harmed by the advent of globalised society, which has connected all the inhabitants of the world with rapid communication networks and, at times, sidelined national languages in favour of one or more global languages. However, this raises the question of whether or not the communication revolution has really caused us to forget our tolerant heritage.
While this is an issue that needs to be tackled separately, it does draw attention to the fact that our folk heritage, which predates religions and interacts with them (indeed, is the incubator of them), was founded on genuine tolerance rather than a pretence of tolerance.
We affirm that throughout its history of over seven thousand years, Arab society has been a model of tolerance, cohabitation, and acceptance of others. On a social level, it has been able to create sophisticated urban structures that have proven advantageous in a variety of domains, including the family, professions, social classes, and others. On a cultural level, it has established a rich folk legacy that assumes great positions in tolerance, avoidance of discrimination, and ability to cohabit with others.
So, for all those many years, people of all religions, ethnicities, lifestyles, and even customs, traditions, and languages lived on Arab soil. But this magnificent cultural virtue, tolerance, was unable to find anyone to care for, nurture, and nourish its pristine tree among modern Arabs.
A number of external and internal forces, currents, and influences collaborated to establish new ideals that fuel intolerance, choke tolerance, and represent the other as the devil at times or the lurking adversary at all times.
The banners of extremism rose on the land of wisdom and moderation, and the growing poverty resulting from the repeated failures of development experiences, in addition to the calls for extremism coming from outside, led to a situation fraught with crises, warning of evils and dangers the extent of which only God knows.
Our reference here is not limited to images of intolerance against those who disagree in terms of religion or culture. It is truly unfortunate that practices that we thought had died and disappeared, such as blood feud, are being revived.
In the world of globalisation and the world of the single pole, “the outside” began to wave in our faces with its heavy fist, directing warnings and warnings and even establishing committees, centres, and institutions that monitor the extent of adherence to the values of tolerance in various societies and cultures (in fact, they want to monitor us and hold only us accountable).
Tolerance is declining, intolerance and hatred are on the rise, and moderation is giving way in the face of expanding extremism, so the current scenario can be detrimental or humiliating from several perspectives.
We no longer live alone; therefore, we must answer to those who hold us accountable and keep an eye on us. As a result, the study of tolerance among scholars has increasing social importance. We believe that by writing this essay, we may shed light on the relevance of social tolerance in Arab culture, the elements that impact an individual's level of tolerance or intolerance in different interactions, and the causes that shape people's perceptions of themselves and the world.