Yes, we all are guilty of misdirecting our intolerance. I will come up with examples of that, but before that, what I want to say here is that we should be intolerant towards injustice to anyone of us by us of by someone else. I will also try to show how our misdirected intolerance can have far reaching effects and how our intolerance for the right causes can change so many things.
We all blame the government for sorry state of affairs. Cleanliness, Traffic, Health and Safety, corruption, are the issues which affect us daily among others.
Gandhiji had said, "Be the change you want to bring in the world". And we all know that self governance is the first step towards good governance.
Let me come up with examples of Misdirected Intolerance where changing our habits is the best solution.
1] Stopping our vehicles right on pedestrian crossing
At traffic signals, if we want to cross, we obviously look for a pedestrian crossing (the zebra crossing, yes that one). How frustrated we feel when we see a vehicle standing on it blocking our way and we do not find any space to cross the road without putting our safety in jeopardy and then hurl abuses at the government. How many times I myself have done that while I used to be in engineering college, though towards the end of the college, I realized my mistake and changed myself. That line belongs to pedestrians and for god sake; it is only a 5 or 10 meters in width. It is not going to create any difference to the vehicle owners but keeping vehicles off it is going to help the pedestrians a lot. The problem arises when we forget while on or in a vehicle that we also are pedestrians sometimes and we hate it when some vehicle stands on it. I hope the reader respects, from next time onwards, the stop line and would stop just before the pedestrian crossing. Isn't it a very simple solution for everyone? We should be intolerant towards ourselves not respecting such facilities.
2] Not waiting for the green light to appear before taking off.
We have all done it and some of us do it even now. I am also guilty of this sin. But sanity says that it is very risky and 5 to 10 seconds wait for the light to go green is not going to do any damage. We often reason to ourselves and others that we would be able to save time by doing this, which we all know is not true and if we have to save time; we can start early rather than starting at our own stretch (Indian Stretchable Time). Frankly speaking, the risk in such an adventure/endeavor/habit is too high and can result in someone's death (maybe ours). And if we are able to avoid this, the traffic policeman can do the job he is actually supposed to do, that is manage the traffic and this will also help in improving our security situation.
3] Crossing the tracks
We are literates, aren't we? We know that crossing the tracks at the places where it is not manned or where there are other ways like over bridge available is illegal and risky. But with the intelligence we have (pun intended), we cross the tracks, the wrong way and at times face the music for this transgression! We are intolerant for the effort we need to make to climb the bridge which is incorrect. We should be intolerant towards ourselves crossing the tracks and we should insist at the least to people we know to not do the same.
4] When waiting outside the ATM.
We don't wait for the other person to come out, we enter as soon as his card is out of the machine and if he waits inside to read some brochure, he is an idiot and we have all the right to go in. Is it right? Obviously not! The person inside the ATM centre has not come to live there and he has the right to privacy and right to send the intruder to prison as well.
5] When littering everywhere
First thing the government should do is clean the roads. Look at Singapore, the roads are so clean, you will not find even a single piece of paper on the road. How many times have we said that, how many times have we blamed the government, when we all know that it is us who are to be blamed for littering on the road. We are intolerant towards the litter full streets but its very easy for us to drop anything that we do not need on the roads. We should be intolerant towards littering ourselves.
6] When eating at places where healthy practices of cooking food are not followed
We eat at those shoddy places and then blame the government for not keeping tabs on such places and in turn expect the government to come up with additional schemes like licensing etc. We all are educated; well enough to see that the cooking practice is not healthy in those places and even after all these we eat there just because it is cheap. Often this is the case that it leads to medical problems and it puts strain on the medical system of the country. We should be avoiding eating at such places and also ask others to follow the same. This has a lot of potential to solve many things including the illegal hawkers occupying the pavements, child labor other than reducing the strain on the medial system.
7] Waste of electricity and water
Nothing needs to be explained here I think.
I am living a corruption free life from 2003 onwards. I know it is difficult sometimes, but officials are corrupt because we give them a chance to be. As literates, it is very easy for us to find out the procedures and rules and if we are to change the system, we have to change ourselves first.
The examples could be infinite and the reader is invited to make his or her own observations and imagination. Self governance in such simple things can itself make a lot of difference to the nation. A nation is as good as its citizens.