Tolerance -- What Is A Reasonable Goal For Us All To Have

We hear these words so much today, "Intolerance" and "Hate." And for some reason, some people have deemed themselves the social police, which make them some of the biggest hypocrites walking around.

The fact is if someone is intolerant of those who are intolerant, then that someone is also intolerant. This is not that hard to get. And fact is we are all intolerant of something. We need some honesty here.

The only reason people find the need to tolerate another person is because of some intolerance of what that other person does. If two people agree on everything, then there is no need to tolerate each other.

The very word "tolerate" implies that there is diversity. The intolerance of something in another person's life is what actually causes the need to tolerate that person. So though we all find some things others do to be intolerable, our goal should be to tolerate the actual people, in that we should not be uncivil. --Keep in mind that public speech that offends others is not the same as walking up to some person in the mall, school or the work place and beginning an altercation with the person. One is free speech; the other is uncivil.

Final thoughts: Our government should not force privately owned businesses to hire people who are in opposition with a business owner. And we should never confuse being polite in public with going against our conscience and keeping company with those who we should not tolerate on a personal level in our homes, churches, private events, etc. 

Debra J.M. Smith -  09-08-11

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 Debra J.M. Smith