I had a thought occur to me while doing some menial task at work the other day and it keeps popping into my mind, which tells me this is important and needs to be shared.

We live in an age where people are constantly preaching the value of tolerance. People want others to tolerate different views, different races, different religions. You name it, if someone can feel strongly opinionated against it, someone else will preach the need for tolerance of it. For a long time I just let the thought tumble through the air, ignoring what it really meant. Then I realized just the other day what a bullshit sentiment tolerance really is. It really just maintains the heart of any issue, that being that one side feels differently than the other. They may not do anything about because they tolerate each other, but those issues are still there. Nothing is fixed, nothing is better, it’s just a nice glossy finish over a superficial surface that hides a core of rot and decay. Eventually that will come to the surface. We’re seeing it a lot in our society right now due to the charged and polarized political climate here in the United States.

Just to be clear, here is the definition of tolerance: tol·er·ance noun; The ability or willingness to tolerate something, in particular the existence of opinions or behavior that one does not necessarily agree with.

Here is the definition of tolerate: tol·er·ate; verb; Allow the existence, occurrence, or practice of (something that one does not necessarily like or agree with) without interference.

That all sounds well and good, but if you break it down into true meaning it’s no different than your bitchy ex saying “Well, you’re wrong, but I’ll let you think you’re right so we don’t fight about it”, even though you know you’ll fight about it again later. Tolerance is the same concept. Whether it be tolerance of race, religion, political views, it’s still only a glossy surface. We all know you can’t polish a turd, so why try to shine up shitty views with a shellac of tolerance?

Someone is reading this right now thinking I’m about to say something racist and you want to know what my fucked up idea is. Ban tolerance? No, that is foolish and impossible. I think, however, we need to alter the state of mind that we have come to accept as the norm. The mindset of “I’m right, you’re wrong, but I’ll leave you to be wrong over here and I’ll go about my business” is beginning to crumble. We’ve gone so long leaning on the principles of tolerance that, once someone influential comes along, they can pop the bubble of faux understanding and suddenly everyone throws tolerance out and you can see who they really are. No, that turd-polishing mindset is no longer going to work.
What should we do then? We need to shift from simply tolerating things we disagree with and we need to start accepting them. Acceptance is unifying. It does away with the “I’m right, you’re wrong, but whatever” mindset. It blasts away the decay under the surface and it gives a healthy core to build a gleaming finish on.

 

For your consideration, here is the definition of acceptance: ac·cept·ancenoun; the action or process of being received as adequate or suitable, typically to be admitted into a group.

Here is the definition of accept: ac·cept; verb; believe or come to recognize (an opinion, explanation, etc.) as valid or correct.

Acceptance allows no room for one to feel as if they are superior to anyone else, unlike tolerance, which is based entirely on a sense of superiority. Acceptance promotes the concepts of understanding and compromise rather than façades hiding blatant ignorance. I for one would prefer to be accepted rather than simply tolerated. We need to start preaching acceptance. We need to change our points of view and open our minds to each other. It’s amazing how much better we become as people when we do. I have seen it in practice and it is a joyous thing to behold.

But who knows, maybe I’m just turning into a crazy hippy.

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