Thinking, thinking…time to write more soon.
Tolerance & Acceptance, for some reason I have been having an all out brawl in my brain regarding these two words lately. I keep thinking that tolerance is not enough. In 2006 I wrote; “Tolerance. Tolerance is a social, cultural and religious term applied to the collective and individual practice of not persecuting those who may believe, behave or act in ways of which one may not approve. This can be a tough one as I get older I notice that my level of tolerance decreases towards those who do not practice tolerance.”
Next I ponder
Persecution: generally refers to any severe violation of human rights. In the refugee context, ‘persecution’ refers to any act by which fundamental rights are severely violated for reasons of race, religion, nationality, political opinion or membership of a particular social group
Intolerance: impatience with annoyances; “his intolerance of interruptions”, unwillingness to recognize and respect differences in opinions or beliefs
Where is the persecution in intolerance? I guess my point is; if we are teaching tolerance in today’s world, using today’s language, literacy and expressions what are we teaching? So far the answer I have gotten is that in reality, tolerating someone is putting up with their differences. Hmmmm…so I am putting up with you having a difference. How does that make me treat you? I’m thinking not so good! If I’m putting up with you I’m certainly not taking the time to know you, value you, accept you or maybe even love you. In fact I think the easiest way to put up with you would be to spend as little time with you as possible so as to avoid ever getting tired of putting up with you.
Acceptance: in spirituality, mindfulness, and human psychology, usually refers to the experience of a situation without an intention to change that situation. I’m liking that one “experience of the situation”, maybe taking the time to know you, value you, accept you and maybe even love you.
Time for the wonder…I had a version of this conversation with my son at age 13 and he agreed “it is much easier to give the finger to someone you are tolerating than to someone who you are accepting.” I like it!