Are You Tolerant? This Quiz Can Tell

Tolerance is the practice of forbearing to judge harshly other people’s habits, views, beliefs, and customs. It is impossible to participate in a democratic way of life without tolerance, but it does not mean a total disregard for some need to conform, to obey laws, and to discriminate between good and evil. None of us has the right to insist that others should mind their own business and not interfere with ours, and all of us are our brothers’ keepers as well as their allies. If you show tolerance you indicate that you accept that there is more than one answer to most questions which beset us in our daily lives. When you do that, others will be more inclined to show tolerance towards you.

1. You’re on holiday in a strange town and suffer minor injuries when a car mounts the pavement. At the hospital casualty department two doctors are on duty—one white and one coloured.

a. Do you contrive to have the white doctor treat you?
b. Do you deliberately make a gesture towards racial harmony and insist on the coloured doctor?
c. Do you just accept whoever comes to treat your injuries?

2. A teen-age relative of yours says she is thinking of marrying a man you know is a bad lad and a well-known breaker of hearts. Do you:

a. say nothing for or against the marriage?
b. warn her that she is heading for trouble?
c. pretend that you’re delighted at the news?

3. A friend begs you to read a book which, from his description, isn’t the kind of literary work you approve of. Do you:

a. take the book, keep it for a week or two, and return it with some vagary about ‘quite good’, though you haven’t read it?
b. state firmly that you would not wish to read it?
c. read it and then tell your friend why you didn’t like it?

4. A vegetarian who refuses to eat meat or fish because it involves killing is:

a. a crank?
b. an expert on the correct diet for human beings?
c. a misguided idealist?

5. Can you name four singers or groups with cur rent pop hits, two conductors of symphony orchestras, three composers of operas, two soloists who play classical music?

a. Maximum totals in all four groups?
b. One or more in all four groups?
c. One or more in only one or two groups?

6. Television is:

a. a menace as a form of mass-drugging of the mind?
b. a wonderful invention ruined by those who run the programs?
c. just another form of entertainment?

7. You suffer from what you consider unjust treatment by your local authority, and are advised to write to your M.P. about it, but you didn’t vote for him, as he is a member of a party you vociferously oppose.

a. Do you write, omitting to mention that you are not one of his supporters?
b. Do you write, admitting that you didn’t vote for him, but point out you are one of his constituents?
c. Do you decide not to write, suspecting that he knows of your political views, and will therefore do nothing to help?

8. People with a different religious belief from your own are:

a. unfortunate?
b. entitled to their own beliefs?
c. wicked?

9. A wife and mother in Communist China is:

a. brain-washed to put State before husband and children?
b. motivated by the same emotions as all women?
c. in a quandary as to where her duty and loyalty really lie?

10. Couples whose marriages end in separation or divorce:

a. were never really and truly in love?
b. are forgetful of their vows and promises?
c. are folk who honestly face the realities of a situation?


1. a. 0, b. 5, c. 10
2. a. 5, b. 0, c. 0
3. a. 5, b. 0, c. 10
4. a. 0, b. 5, c. 10
5. a. 10, b. 10, c. 0
6. a. 0, b. 5, c. 10
7. a. 5, b. 10, c. 0
8. a. 5, b. 10, c. 0
9. a. 0, b. 10, c. 5
10. a. 0, b. 10, c. 5

Score 80-100 and you are assured of a well-balanced, well-educated, and flexible personality; you will do well in any kind of work involving the control and persuasion of large masses of people, and you will in time become a leader of some kind in your community.

60-75: by nature you wish to be tolerant, but you have been given a few prejudices by your environment and background; you probably know they are unjustified.

55 and below: there’s something of the old-fashioned sergeant major about you, and you unconsciously feel that the army of humanity tends to get out of step with you. Think again, and you will realize it takes all sorts to make a happy world.

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