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THE ART OF ACCEPTANCE

There are a number of verses in the Qur’an that emphasize the importance of patience (sabr) and tolerance (eraz). One verse says that those who are patient will be granted the greatest reward (39:10). If you read the Qur’an, you will find that almost all its commandments are based, directly or indirectly, on this spirit. Why has such great importance been attached to patience? It is certainly not a virtue that stems from passivity. And there is great wisdom behind this teaching for it shows a realistic approach. It is, in essence, the art of acceptance. It means that you should accept others so that they will accept you too.

When we travel on the road, we always follow a well-known traffic principle: Stick to your lane. This kind of traffic rule is based on mutual acceptance; it means that you should follow your own lane and I should follow my lane and this will allow room for both. The same is required in our entire social life, for social life is like living in a crowd. If you want to go ahead, you have to make room for others; this is the most important principle for a successful social life. If you want to give a new name to this culture, you could call it the art of acceptance or the culture of acceptance. The art of acceptance means the art of difference management or the art of peaceful adjustment. All these expressions are quite synonymous with each other. By adopting the art of acceptance, you give respect to others. It is like proceeding to your destination without hindering anyone else.

God created man and He granted freedom to every man and woman. In terms of freedom, there is no difference between people, so everyone tries to exercise his freedom. This may create conflict between different groups. The above teaching gives us a practical formula by which to run our society smoothly: the art of acceptance. Acceptance is not simply a matter of adjustment. It also has great wisdom. When you follow the culture of acceptance, you foster many good values in your personality, for example, positive thinking, giving respect to others, establishing your dignity, impacting upon others as a mature person, showing that you are a person of high thinking. Then you prove that you are free of tension, free of hate, free of intolerance, free of negativity, and so on. The art of acceptance means the art of difference management or the art of peaceful adjustment.

The art of acceptance is the art of development in terms of spirituality and in terms of thinking. When you accept others, you save yourself from distraction. When you accept others, you invite them to open up opportunities for you. When you accept others, it is a silent request to them to do the same as done by you. The art of acceptance is intimately related to the art of living. Successful living in this world is not possible unless this formula is followed. In short, accept others and others will be compelled to accept you.

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