Originally Published: October 13, 2016 6 a.m.
“Tolerance: the ability or willingness to tolerate something, in particular the existence of opinions or behavior that one does not necessarily agree with.”
We all know that word, but very few of us actually practice it in our daily dealings with the rest of humanity.
There is a distinct lack of tolerance for anyone who thinks differently than someone else in topics like religion, politics, sexual preference, freedom of expression/speech, and so on.
Some prime examples of our national “intolerance” has been on sorry display lately:
Religion: This editorial was conceived after I read a foul letter from someone who disagreed with another reader’s religious beliefs. I had to read it a few times to be sure the writer really meant that because a writer of a letter to the editor did not believe what this person believed, they had no right to be published in “their” newspaper.
Politics: Every Republican, Democrat, Independent, Green Partier and Tea Partier feels they have the right candidate and the best solution for “their” country. Remember, just because a neighbor has a sign in their yard pledging support for someone running against “your” candidate does not make them stupid, ignorant or whatever else you’d like to call them.
Freedom of expression/speech: The fallout keeps coming from Colin Kaepernick’s refusal to stand for the national anthem. You may hate it, but remember you are in America. You don’t have to stand if you don’t want to. And you are free to voice your anger at someone who does not stand, but let’s move on already. People have been sitting/ignoring/kneeling for decades over the anthem, the flag, you name it. They are allowed to do that here. You are not the patriot police.
Sexual preference: The NCAA relocated seven events from North Carolina due to that state’s restricting LGBT law. Back to that “living in a free country” thing … it’s sad when sporting events need to relocate because a state’s governing body can’t see beyond their self-important noses to accept all of its citizens, no matter what they identify with or believe in. It’s sad in general that because we cannot accept people who are different than we are, we need the government to step in and tell us how to treat others.
So, back to “tolerance” … although you have the right to hate others, to voice that hate and to share it with others, where does that get you? What’s the end game here?
If it’s to spend your life hating everything and everyone who isn’t a clone of you, then, bravo, you’re living the dream.
Just seems life would be a lot less stressful – and the majority of folks a lot happier – if we learned how to turn “tolerance” into a real life action, rather than just a word.
Let’s agree to disagree and stop calling each other names and pointing fingers. It all reeks of playground antics.