Friday, April 3, 2015

Tolerance; Remember That?

tolerance [tol-er-uh ns] 

a fair, objective, and permissive attitude toward those whose opinions, beliefs, practices, racial or ethnic origins, etc., differ from one's own;freedom from bigotry.

It seems to me, we all used to have a lot more of it.

If there was a kid who was nerdy, dorky...someone who saw things or did things differently, you gave him the side eye, maybe busted his chops once in a while, but he was tolerated. He wasn't bullied into taking his own life.

If you were a little/lot more liberal/conservative than others, you still listened to their point of view, and maybe just sometimes, you found common ground. Different views were tolerated. Just dismissing someone else's voice because it's not the same as yours does no one any good.

If your neighbor's faith was a different than yours, their right to worship was respected; it was tolerated. There was no fear you would be slaughtered for growing up with a different belief system.

And now we have the elected powers in so many states trying to enact laws for what should just be human decency. Tolerance. In an effort to offend no one, they have offended everyone.

And those who refuse to accept what the majority has already endorsed find themselves ostracized, even ruined. Right or wrong, where is the tolerance?

It is now a time of sound bites instead of news reports, text messages instead of conversation, reality TV instead of reality. We don't take the time to listen to one another or even think for ourselves. We read a Tweet and accept its message as truth... all 140 characters of it. Our tolerance for learning the entire story is gone.

Today begins a holy weekend for most people. None of us can change overnight, but we can each try and accept... ideas and people.

If you dig deep enough, you just might find a little tolerance.