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Social Problems....Intolerance: An Open Letter To You

Updated on November 27, 2012
Many people of different beliefs
Many people of different beliefs | Source
It is a big world out there
It is a big world out there | Source

I think it is important to tell you where I came from before telling you where I am now. I was raised by good and loving parents. Having said that I can also tell you that they had a racist streak in them a mile wide. Japanese and Black Americans were the main objects of their racism and although it was a very subtle and often unspoken racism it was racism nonetheless.

To a certain extent I can understand the source of their racism and intolerance. My dad simply hated the Japanese because he had fought against them during World War 2 and Blacks were on his list because he had lived during race wars in St. Louis as a teen. My mother, as was her nature, hated what my dad hated. I doubt my mom could have given you a single reason for her racism if asked but having lived with her for twenty-five years and known her for fifty-two years I can say with all certainty that the racism never subsided within her.

I credit college as the main reason why I grew up differently. Once exposed to the real world and different cultures during my college years I was able to see my parents for what they were. I did not love them less but I was able to form my own opinions regarding a variety of subjects including race, religion, politics and sexual orientation.

I wrote an article awhile back about fear and ignorance in which I talked about the subject of racism and how most hate is fear-based. I certainly believe it to be true regarding my parents and I consider it the truth regarding intolerance today.

http://billybuc.hubpages.com/hub/Social-Issues-Fear-and-Ignorance

With that said I will now begin my letter to those of you who are intolerant.

DEAR MR. OR MRS. INTOLERANCE

Why do you care?

Why do you care what I believe in? Why do you care what I do with my life? The last time I checked living in general was a full-time job. It certainly is for me! Taking care of myself and my loved ones keeps me quite busy. I simply do not have time to worry about the beliefs of others and quite frankly, even if I had the time I wouldn’t give a rat’s patootie!

One of the things I love about the United States is the basic principle of freedom. As long as I do not harm another person or my country I am allowed to think and act as I wish. In fact, part of that basic principle is that if I want freedom for myself I must be willing to give that same freedom to others. Correct me if I’m wrong but that seems self-explanatory and not really open for debate. Am I mistaken? Did I somehow miss a class in college when they discussed the loop holes in that principle? I think not! So let me ask you that question again: Why do you care?

RELIGION

Why do you care? Why do you care what my religion is? Whether I am Catholic, Jewish, Muslim, Atheist or Agnostic, why do you care? Is it somehow a threat to you if I believe differently about God than you do? Is it even a threat to you if I don’t believe in God? Why do you feel compelled to tell me what God wants and what God believes? Do you know? Have you spoken to Him and has He answered you because if He has then I want a ticket to that show.

I truly don’t care what you believe in; you can believe that an aardvark is God and that’s fine with me. I don’t have to socialize with you and I don’t have to buy into your aardvark theory. I simply let you be and go on with my life. Pretty simple don’t you think?

POLITICS

Why do you care? Why do you care if I like President Obama or Ron Paul or any of the other candidates? Why do you care if I am Democrat or Republican or Libertarian? Why do you care if I paint myself green and hug a tree or go to a convention of the American No Party? Come to think of it, what difference does it make to you if I vote or not? Is it somehow affecting you? Is it such a blow to your serenity that you feel the need to shout at the top of your lungs your opposition to my political beliefs?

Why is that? Why are my beliefs so threatening to you and they must be threatening because you are so upset over them? I simply do not understand and I need you to explain it to me.

RACE

Why do you care? I need to know why it matters to you whether I am black, white, yellow or brown? Regardless of my skin color or the nation of my origin I still laugh, cry and love. I am still a parent and I have family; I still find joy in the laughter of a child and weep at injustice. We have so much in common and yet you seem terribly concerned that my skin is a different pigment than yours. Cut me and I will bleed, just as you, and show me compassion and I will glow, just as you.

If I am Iranian or Chinese or Kenyan or Irish, do you really think I am sub-human? Tell me, please, why you need to use special names to describe me; why is it okay for you to use hateful names, derogatory names? Does it make you feel superior? Does it shelter you from your own insecurity and fear?

RELATIONSHIPS

Why do you care? If I love another man, or woman, why is that important to you? I hear you say it is against nature or against God’s will? Bring that God before me because I dearly want to have a chat with Him or Her. How could an all-loving God, which you believe in, despise me for my choice in lovers? Did He not create both of us? What I suspect is if there is a God He really doesn’t care much about my sexual preferences but you, in your myopic, senseless beliefs, do care and you have decided it is your duty to announce to the world my heathen ways. I only have one thing to say to that: WHY DO YOU CARE?

BEFORE I GO

I guess that’s about all I wanted to ask you at this time. I know I’ve given you a lot to think about so I’ll stop for now. Or have I? Is it possible that you are so hateful that you are simply incapable of listening to an opposing point of view? When did this happen to you? I really want to know? I know you weren’t born spiteful and intolerant so when did the change take place?

Is it possible that you are a mirror of your parents, that you spent so many years in an intolerable home that you naturally swing that way now that you are an adult? Is it possible that you were indoctrinated with hate for so long that you don’t even realize that you do hate? How could that be? I grew up around racism and yet I stand before you today free of racism. Wait! Could it be that you have chosen to be intolerant? Could it be that in those quiet moments when you are alone and afraid that you need to lash out at anyone who is different than you so that in some mysterious way you will feel better about yourself?

So many questions and so few answers. I hope you will take the time to answer my questions at some point because this really does trouble me and I hate being troubled. My main concern is that if I become too troubled I will turn into a petty little dispenser of vileness just like you and that just does not work for me.

Sincerely,

Bill Holland

2012 Bill Holland (billybuc)

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    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Eddy, thank you for rooting around this morning; this is actually one of my favorites because of the message. Love to you today and always.

      billy

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 5 years ago from Wales

      Interesting ,to the point,powerful and as always told in your own natural way.

      This hub I loved and I am so glad I rooted around before finding it.

      You leave so much food for thought!!

      Oh yes another great hub Billy my friend.

      Have a wonderful day.

      Eddy.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Au fait, that was quite a response. You now hold the record on my site for the longest comment.

      And of course you are correct....I have read this three times and see nothing I disagree with....and that in itself is remarkable.

      Thank you for your passion and probably the most intelligent comment I have read here in seven months.

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 5 years ago from North Texas

      With you Mr. Holland on every single thing you said here except one, politics. The reason I differ with you on that is because everyone's vote makes a difference in everyone's life -- even a non-vote matters. There's no such thing as not being involved and if you think you aren't involved, you're in denial.

      Politics makes a difference in the voter's life, the non voter's life, and everyone else's life. I also care that it can have an adverse effect on the lives of people in ways they seem not to even be aware of. So it isn’t only how your politics affect me personally, but how your politics affect everyone generally, which also affects me.

      Politics affects all of our lives, sometimes in the most intimate ways. Politics affects our employment, our wages, our ability to get an education, and even where we can afford to live. Politics determines almost everything we do whether we're awake or asleep 24 hours a day. The safety of our food, how clean our water and air are, who can fix our plumbing or electrical problem, what neighborhood we live in, and the list is endless.

      Politics even sticks its nose into our bedrooms -- not sufficiently to please some people, but it does just the same. Politics decides who gets healthcare -- nearly 50,000 people in this said to be richest of all countries die every year because they have no access to healthcare. That's more than one person dying every 20 minutes. Many of these people, despite accusations to the contrary, are working. Some are working 2 or more jobs, but the pay is so low and the hours so limited there still isn't money for healthcare or insurance.

      Politics is what allows insurance companies to take your money and then say "sorry, that's not covered," when it comes time to pay for your health service. Politics determine laws about everything, even when it's OK to cheat people and when it isn't.

      There is no person or anything in anyone's life that isn't affected by politics, either because it is regulated, or because it is not. Everyone has a say, and while one person's vote may not matter a lot, added to everyone else's vote, it does matter.

      No man is an island. Like it or not, and despite how much people in the U.S. love individualism, the fact is that we all affect each other in our thinking and in our votes. We influence people around us to be tolerant or not. To be helpful to the less fortunate, or not. To take care of our planet, or not.

      Just as intolerance towards various races, religions, and socioeconomic groups is hurtful and even causes wars that in turn cause wasted funds that could have been used more wisely, so voting to continue to allow 50,000 people to die and be miserable while waiting to do so has a negative effect on our country and everyone in it -- not just on the person who dies or their immediate family.

      Intolerance comes in many forms, not just words and obviously ugly behavior. Believing that the only person in the world who matters is oneself is pretty intolerant if you think about it. Isn't that at the base of all intolerance? People who think they have all the right answers and so everyone should conform to their views? Even if/when that view is individualism to the point of causing other people to die? It may not be a person's intent to kill people with their views of individualism, but that is the end result.

      People want help for themselves when they need it, and we all need it from time to time, but those same people do not want to contribute to helping anyone else. That's because some people believe that when they need help there's a good reason for it, but when other people need help it's because they made bad decisions, they have poor judgment, they're lazy, or there's just something wrong with them even if one can't put one's finger on it. So unlike themselves, other people deserve what they get.

      Some people are fortunate to have family and friends capable and willing to help them when things get tough, but not everyone has those luxuries.

      Politics determine what happens to people who have lots of resources and politics determine what happens to people who have few, or no resources. Like the air we breath and the water we drink, politics permeates every aspect of all of our lives whether we are capable of seeing that or not. What other people think, say, and do, ultimately affects ourselves and vice versa.

      Voting for people to continue to die is just as ugly as calling them names or refusing to give them a job because of their religion, color, or because they simply do not agree with our politics. Yes, where I live, people will not hire someone if they know they do not subscribe to the right political party doctrine.

      By keeping us all divided against each other, politicians win. We fight amongst ourselves often never really listening to each other or truly analyzing our own ideas and beliefs, and politicians on both sides are cleaning up by keeping us busy fighting and hating each other because of our differences. As you rightly pointed out, we all have far more in common than not. So why can't we not only have tolerance for difference, but a bit more kindness and willingness to lend each other a helping hand when needed?

      A helping hand doesn't always mean money. It seems for some people having to give of their money or their time is asking too much, and they are often the people who need and take the most from everyone else, even if only in the form of patience and tolerance for their narrow mindedness and selfishness. A helping hand can take many forms, sometimes just offering friendship or listening.

      When just one person improves their situation, we are all better off. When we help someone solve a problem, it costs fewer tax dollars for our government to step in and do what we could have done as humans for just a few minutes of our time.

      Politics determines everything in our lives and we are all the reason for that. Hate and greed actually cost far more in a multitude of ways than kindness and understanding and giving a helping hand as each of us is able.

      Hate and greed are the reasons we have such an expensive and extensive justice system and penal system. Discriminating against people who are different often forces them into a position where they feel they must do something desperate, or it puts them on pubic assistance. Many people who are discriminated against do in fact die as a result, but some fight back and that's why our justice, penal, and welfare systems are so overburdened.

      Who is so arrogant as to believe that someone should die because they are different from themselves? Lots of people in this country would seem to be that arrogant. What if YOU were the one who was different and you were discriminated against to the point of going on welfare, committing a crime, or just dying because the first two options didn't work?

      Politics determines all of these things. Our attitudes, our beliefs, and our votes matter. Every time we cast our vote – or not – millions of people are affected, not only ourselves. Every time we open our mouths we are influencing other people, so what we think, say, and do, matters. Everyone’s politics affects everyone else’s lives, not just one’s own. That is why other people's politics matter to me.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Peeples, thank you! Yes, I don't believe we are born with intolerance; that is a learned trait and it is very sad.

    • peeples profile image

      Peeples 5 years ago from South Carolina

      Another great hub , I couldn't have said any of it better! When it comes down to it, most of what we are is formed as a child. If not then from an event as an adult. It's actually quite amazing what impact just one event can cause. Voted up!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Of course, tobusiness, feel free to share and thank you for visiting.

    • tobusiness profile image

      Jo Alexis-Hagues 5 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

      Billy, I would very much love to share this article if it is ok with you.

      Regards

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Tobusiness, those are very kind words. Thank you!

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      Tobusiness 5 years ago

      I'm so glad I've found this, You have said all the things I wanted to say, but I could never have put them so eloquently. This hub is remarkable. My best wishes to you Billy.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Keith, your comment was every bit as eloquent as my hub if not more. Thank you for a great sharing and obviously I agree with every word you wrote.

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      KDuBarry03 5 years ago

      I am with you on all this 200% Bill. I have had many situations, one that literally nearly killed me, where I was the victim of intolerant people. However that may be, i have grown to understand that everyone lives there lives differently. With that being said, why should we care how others live, as you said? I respect those who are Muslim, Sikh, Russian, African, Gay, Bi, Transgender, etc. We are too diverse of a world for all of us to follow the exact same cultural rules and regulations; hell, even live under the same form of government. Why should we care if the president is African? Why should we care if a Governor is Gay? Why should we care if parts of the Middle East are living under a Theocracy? Now, for any one that does care and has problems with them, let me ask all those people this: What have they done to you? Why not respect others for their differences, instead of hating them for it? I agree with onlooker on what she said earlier. In my opinion, there are only a few philosophies, I think, are universal around the world. One of them is this: We are all equal in difference. That equality in difference makes us who we are and how we live; why cause conflict because of that truth?

      Great Hub, bill!

      -KD

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ava, as always, thank you! I wish you peace and happiness this weekend and always.

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      onlooker 5 years ago

      Biil has spoken and there is not a single sentence I disagree with or haven't thought of myself. We're all the same regardless of culture, religion or color. Thank you, Bill for sharing these wise words.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ruchira, thank you and I'm so happy you liked the video. We are having great fun making them. It is kind of nice to see someone in the flesh speaking, isn't it?

    • Ruchira profile image

      Ruchira 5 years ago from United States

      Beautiful letter to intolerance. Man is civilized enough to realize his boundaries and learn to accept the flaws of others. That's when tolerance comes to test.

      I liked the natural video of you, Bill :) Such a pleasure to see ya flesh and soul :) Great to meet ya, my friend :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Vellur, thank you and I of course agree with you. I appreciate you stopping by.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Linda, I so agree! Thank you for taking the time to visit.

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 5 years ago from Dubai

      Great hub, you reflect all my thoughts. Each and everyone irrespective of who or what they are have a right to live and enjoy living.Voted up.

    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 5 years ago from Orlando, FL

      Well said Bill. Open letters allow us to speak our mind:)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Kebennett...greatly appreciated.

    • Kebennett1 profile image

      Kebennett1 5 years ago from San Bernardino County, California

      BRAVO!

    • Victoria Lynn profile image

      Victoria Lynn 5 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      No problem, Bill. Right back at ya!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Aww, thanks, Vicki, for coming back. You really are a great pal.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Daisy! I really have never understood why people try so hard to change others, or why they argue so hard against an opposing viewpoint. It really makes no difference!

      I appreciate your kind words.

    • Victoria Lynn profile image

      Victoria Lynn 5 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      I remember this hub. It's as good today as it was when I read it several months ago! Intolerance is still intolerable. Keep speaking it, my friend!

    • Daisy Mariposa profile image

      Daisy Mariposa 5 years ago from Orange County (Southern California)

      Bill,

      You've nailed it with this Hub! I've often thought *Why do they care?* and *What business is it of theirs?*

      Keep on observing and sharing your thoughts.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thomas, I will indeed keep on trucking, until the wheels fall off. Hopefully that will be a few years. Thank you for loyally following me.

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      ThomasBaker 5 years ago from Florida

      What can I say that your many followers have already said. Well Deserved! Keep on trucking.

      Tom

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Dolores, that is hilarious! What a wise woman your mother was...I'm still laughing at that one. Damn Hungarians! I heard a teen say the other days that someone smelled like a European????? I may die before I ever find out what that means? Thank you so much for visiting my site and thanks for that lovely saying of your mother's.

    • Dolores Monet profile image

      Dolores Monet 5 years ago from East Coast, United States

      My mother used to say that her mother taught her that intolerance was a terrible thing. Every race, religion, and nationality had good people as well as stinkers. No one group could be lumped together and looked down on. Except Hungarians. I used to laugh at that, it seemed so ridiculous. My mother thought so too and used this as an example of how foolish intolerance is.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Vinaya, thank you sir, and thank you for the mention yesterday in your interview with Vicki! I appreciate you dropping by and I respect anyone who has no tolerance with intolerance. :)

    • Vinaya Ghimire profile image

      Vinaya Ghimire 5 years ago from Nepal

      We humans are social animals, which means we live in a society. Foundation of our society stands on our ability to give and take. When we give love, we receive love. When we hate, we are hated. Here lies the importance of tolerance.

      I agree with your point of view.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ivona, thank you for visiting my site. It's nice to meet you and hope to see you again.

    • Ivona Poyntz profile image

      Ivona Poyntz 5 years ago from UK

      Great open letter, well said, I agree

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Express, all valid points and I thank you for the timely comment. As a former history teacher it is quite easy to find reasons why every American should be tolerant.

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      H C Palting 5 years ago from East Coast

      There is good, bad, and ugly in every race, religion, political, sexual orientation, etc. Some find it easy to claim their relatives built this country but fail to mention the hard labor of the African slaves who were brought here against their will or the American Indians whose land was taken from them. When mentioning the past, it's best to not utilize selective memory because this only burns bridges and does not build them. This is a great and thought provoking hub.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Tammy, thanks for the added comment. I actually found AR's comment a perfect example of what my hub was all about.

    • tammybarnette profile image

      Tammy Barnette 5 years ago

      AR, I was recently reading up on many different religions, John is right, it's all the same God, all the same principles the only difference with those who do not believe in Jesus as the son of God, but all are based on our old testament.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      John..."a different talk show." Love it! Thank you for dropping by and sharing your wisdom. You are appreciated!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ruchira, again I thank you and in this case I really do care. :)

    • John Sarkis profile image

      John Sarkis 5 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      Great hub, very "user friendly." I think most people want to live in peace with their fellow man/woman/child!

      FYI: The God of Abraham is the same for Muslims, Jews and Catholics (Christians...), so do not differentiate.... However, agnostics and atheists are as they say in our country, "a different talk show..." ...just food for thought....

      Voted up on your wonderful hub

      John

    • Ruchira profile image

      Ruchira 5 years ago from United States

      Hi Bill,

      Good hub...IF man would become tolerant towards another man...wow...this would be a beautiful world and no wars, battles and killing and we would not even have a gun on this darn planet!

      I hear ya, Bill...loud and clear!

      Why do I care :)

      voted way up and sharing!!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Make sure to wrap a blanket around the muttering old dodger; we don't want him catching cold!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks American for your comments. You managed to say it all quite nicely and I greatly appreciate your comments.

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      American Romance 5 years ago from America

      Why do I care? Because the basic greatness of America is freedom? .........You have stolen that freedom from me by allowing 67 million Americans to be on welfare! You refuse to listen when the IRS says I pay 90% of all the bills but you rant about the rich paying their fair share! You degrade me when you rant about the rich but fail to acknowledge that 50% of all Americans don't pay taxes!

      Your religion? Iran is about to kill a Christian family, Syria is killing their own! Several countries have threatened to wipe Israel off the map! 911 and hundreds of bombings in this world revolve around a common denominator......all Muslims! ......Naw nothing to care about there! let them to continue to ingrain into our society!

      Relationships? I care because by forcing me to accept the unnatural you break down the moral fiber of my country! The same country my grandparents sacrificed their blood to build! My family didn't do this for a man to insert his penis into another mans sphincter muscle and call it natural behaviour!

      To end, you call me vile and wrong but you don't know me? This is the most ironic piece of your writing? You my friend are just like your parents with that last statement!

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 5 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Yeah...yeah...don't get all philosophical on me.... It's called "Inconsistent Positive Reinforcement." Don't try to understand it...don't try to fight it.

      Why? because I can't explain it, that's why!....and BTW...IF by chance you figure it out? Don't you even THINK about sharing with my husband!! As we speak, the guy is babbling, talking to himself and rocking back & forth.....and we don't have a rocking chair, btw. Just leave him alone...it's ALL cool!!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Paula, there you go confusing me again. You rake me over the coals in one comment and then build me up so I can see the clouds with the next....and have me laughing every step of the way. Genius? I think not my dear, but you can always count on my writing from the heart. Thank you...Thank you..Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Tammy, you know how I feel about you so no need to be repetitive here. We are kindred souls who have very little patience with intolerance and stupidity but love to laugh and enjoy the hell out of life. Thank you my dear!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Dexter, your kind words mean a great deal to me. Thank you so much; now hopefully someone who needs to hear the message will hear it.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      JKenny, you had a very wise granddad; I love that line and will probably be using it in the near future. Thank you for sharing that bit of wisdom.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sonya, I have always wanted to be acerbic...I'm glad I finally achieved my goal. :) Thank you as always and you are absolutely correct: our job is to be examples and hope others learn.

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 5 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Bill.....What a writer! what a guy!! what a genius!

      What can I possibly say as beautifully as you have said here,which mirrors my beliefs and attitude to perfection? It could only come out as jibberish with the same intent...

      I CARE that more and more people in this world that we share, come to the clear and simple realization that we need to CEASE & DESIST caring about what has ZERO to do with our similar trek to happiness, goals, peace & dreams.....the things we all want and have a birthright to achieve."

      and, um....oh yeah! I CARE that you keep putting out these stunningly wonderful PSA's....that's what you do, bill....you provide a valuable service to your fellowman...you educate, you awaken.....straight from your heart through your fingertips upon the keys!

      How damned far "UP" can we vote in this place anyway??!!

    • tammyswallow profile image

      Tammy 5 years ago from North Carolina

      Billybuc,

      Another masterpiece! Racism and intolerance due to unchallenged beliefs is dangerous for all. Those who want to put so much energy and time into hating others should take the time to walk in their shoes for some time and see what they are really like. Very well done and well said. Bravo!

    • Dexter Yarbrough profile image

      Dexter Yarbrough 5 years ago from United States

      Billybuc! Congratulations on producing a heartfelt, most outstanding hub! All the good comments have been taken. So I will just say thank you for writing a letter that many others wish they had written at some time in our lives.

      This is indeed one of my all time favorite hubs! Bookmarking!

    • JKenny profile image

      James Kenny 5 years ago from Birmingham, England

      Very wise and profound words here, Billy. The best piece of advice I was ever given, was by my granddad, he said: 'Treat people, how you find them,' basically he was saying, just treat people as individuals, some will be nice, others will be bad; don't focus on their appearance or beliefs, its not relevant. Great hub, voted up etc.

    • Sonya L Morley profile image

      Sonya L Morley 5 years ago from Edinburgh

      You are both eloquent and acerbic, a winning combination. I think all intolerence boils down to fear: fear of the unknown mixed with general ignorance. I guess all we can do is educate ourselves and be living/breathing examples of acceptance. Another interesting topic.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Dzy, I fear indeed that I am preaching to the choir. I, too, grew up during the same era and I foolishly believed that intolerance would come to an eventual end. Boy, did I ever miss the mark with that prediction. What I have found is that intolerance has become sneaky and has cloaked itself behind PC talk..the wolf in sheep's clothing. Anyway, it is time for bed; tomorrow will bring another battle. Thank you for taking the time to write such an intelligent comment.

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      Liz Elias 5 years ago from Oakley, CA

      Indeed! What business is it of ANYONE what someone else is doing with their lives, (most especially their private lives) when they are hurting no one?

      The self-righteous religious nabobs really get my goat, between their trespass onto private property with their door-knocking/conversion campaigns, and with trying to cram their beliefs into our very laws; subverting our separation of church and state.

      I was raised in San Francisco in the 1950s and 60's. That's about as tolerant as life gets. I don't judge folks on their skin color or beliefs, but on how they BEHAVE!

      If they are going to be out creating mayhem, pushing hard street drugs, robbery and murder, then I say they deserve whatever racial epithet may apply--otherwise, if they can behave as upstanding, considerate citizens who get involved in others' lives only when needed to render aid, or support a community cause, then they are simply people, no more, no less.

      However, that said, I am as intolerant and unaccepting of these behaviors as you, and I have the same worry proffered by another commenter, as to whether that makes us bigots of a different stripe?

      Oh, well. Just live and let live...But, I fear you are preaching to the choir.

      Voted up, awesome, beautiful, useful, interesting and shared!

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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Gemini, you had me laughing on that one. I can't tell you the number of times I have written a comment only to discover it had already been said by the author. Thank you for your support!

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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Kathleen, it has to start with all of us and I am certainly no exception. As long as there are some of us who understand that then maybe we can educated others along the way. Thank you for a well-thought out comment.

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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Tammy, that is very kind of you to say and your words about this country needing all of the citizens is right on. Thank you for your insightful comment.

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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Vicki you are too sweet! Thank you! I hope in my lifetime I see tolerance grow but I'm not very hopeful.

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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Hazelwood, I agree with you. Coming out of the Sixties I was convinced that intolerance was going to be a thing of the past sooner rather than later. Alas my prediction was sooo wrong. Maybe some day soon! Thank you for your kind words and I definitely owe you a read or two.

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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Awww Cyndi, thank you! There are quite a few times, like today, when I think this is all a waste of time. If I would just write some "Top Ten" lists that the general public wants to read maybe I would sell some things and make some serious money. But my heart just isn't in that; if I can't write with passion there is no point in me writing. Thank you my friend.

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      Gemini Fox 5 years ago

      It's about fear and ignorance (ha - wrote this and then reread the beginning of your hub - you said it yourself). Well thought out and written hub!

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      Kathleen Kerswig 5 years ago

      Very interesting hub. I'm guessing that ego has something to do with why people care about anything. We think our way is the right way, the only way.

      The truth is that there are many paths and many choices in life. Acceptance and tolerance of others has to start with me.

      Thanks for writing this one. You've got me thinking again. :)

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      Tammy Barnette 5 years ago

      So beautiful and true, fantastic hub. If we spent as much time learning about someone as we spend prejudging we could learn something that would make us the greatest country in the world. It really takes us all to make a great country, we all have strengths and weaknesses,we need one another whether we realize it or not. Truly a beautiful hub, bravo:)

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      Victoria Lynn 5 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Yay! I love it! You echo my brain! I grew up around a lot of loving people who are very intolerant and college helped me to think for myself, too. Why DO so many people care? Like their religion, their race, or their marriage is affected by people who are different from them. Live and let live, I say. And I love the Beatles song. I'm bookmarking and sharing this hub. It's one of my favorites.

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      hazelwood4 5 years ago from Owensboro, Kentucky

      In OUR world WE are all made different, but this is what makes us ALL special and UNIQUE in every way! It amazes me how much bigotry there still is in the word, even though we are all as different and special as each snowflake that falls to the ground. Thank you for the thought provoking article! Write on my friend!

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      Cynthia Sageleaf 5 years ago from Western NC

      Another winner, Billy! I'm sharing this on FB and voting up and across. Your articulate words, I hope, will touch many.

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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      B. Malin, we do indeed deserve better but then when are we going to demand better? It has become acceptable to treat us like we don't have the brains we were born with. Sigh! Don't get me started! Thank you for commenting and taking the time to read this.

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      b. Malin 5 years ago

      I don't care...I doubt if I ever did...Live and Let Live. I think people that are insecure don't Tolerate well...I watch Fox News and flip the Channels... but take it all with a grain of salt...It's Showbiz, it's Entertainment, but I rarely see it as News...Oh, occasionally NEWS is actually reported. But the LEFT and the RIGHT are so Busy slinging the MUD that it's hard to see the Truth that lies in between...As Americans we deserve so much better.

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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I am happy for your child, or children, that they have such an intelligent and caring mother. Thank you!

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      Melissa Flagg OSC 5 years ago from Rural Central Florida

      I agree, I think MSNBC is slightly better than Fox news, but both of them, as well as most of the news media community are biased and controlled by those with political power. It's sad really, the American public deserves to have ALL of the information and not just a biased, censored story.

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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Daughter, I have to believe education is the key. So many people learn all they know from their parents and then further educate themselves on MSNBC or Fox News and I'm not sure tolerance can be learned on either of those mediums. Hooray for you for ending that family cycle and thank you for your insightful comment.

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      Melissa Flagg OSC 5 years ago from Rural Central Florida

      This hub was so awesome, it kind of makes me want to write a hub about how I came to my beliefs. My father was EXTREMELY racist when it came to African Americans, my mother on the other hand was a bit more tolerant, not much, but slightly. Yet I'm the most liberal person you will ever meet as is my sister. It's interesting how we came to our beliefs despite how we grew up. Why is that? Is it a sign of inteligence? Wisdom? What causes us to have more of an open mind? Very intriguing hub as always Bill!

      Voted up and SHARED.

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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ann, you are very kind. This all started a couple days ago when I heard a comment from a teen that I just couldn't believe; it reeked of intolerance but the teen had no idea..it was just a random statement they had heard and emulated. I thought as a society that we were becoming more aware but maybe I'm wrong. Thank you for your kind comment and following.

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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Lesley, feel free to clog up my page any old time you want to.. :)

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      Ann Carr 5 years ago from SW England

      A great way to tackle this subject! You're right, I'm sure, that a lot of prejudice comes from fear or from insecurity. Sometimes it's hard not to succomb to the stereotype until we stop to think - maybe that's the problem, people do not think enough. That's why your questioning technique is so effective. Voted up, useful and awesome - powerful and well-written as usual! Ann

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      Lesleysherwood 5 years ago

      I know this isn't Facebook or the forums, so naughty of me to clog up your page with another comment, but I honestly feel that when someone is being intolerant to our lifestyle, they are elevating themselves, eg (I would never do such a thing, I am perfect....). all in their subconscious.

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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Lesley, this question has baffled me for decades...why do they care? What possible difference can my lifestyle make in their lives? my beliefs? who cares? I'm a nobody, a blip on the landscape of life..it makes no sense. I do appreciate you stopping by with your timely remark.

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      Lesleysherwood 5 years ago

      You have hit the nail on the head. Why do they care? What does it matter to them? Live and let live. Although I do feel that life experiences and education (positive or negative) can affect what we become. We can fight it though, we can 'put on a new personality', its just a case of re-educating the synapses in our brains.

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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Wesman, you are right on with your sharing. A Fender made in Japan? I had no idea some were made there. Thanks for the sharing; I do believe most of our families have similar tales regarding this subject.

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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Mark! Your comment is right on and beautifully stated. As always I appreciate your comment.

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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      HSchneider, thank you very much. It is all fear and ignorance based and I agree, this needs to be out in the open and discussed, and the sooner the better.

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      Wesman Todd Shaw 5 years ago from Kaufman, Texas

      Yep!!!

      I've a Bowie knife my grandfather made. The blade was a bayonet that the dead Japanese officer on Guam Island no longer needed...he made the hilt.

      Growing up - my uncles knew a good product, and they'd drive Nissan vehicles, but they couldn't park in their father's driveway - they had to park those things on the street!!!

      My Veteran Grandfather, however, realized that his religious faith dictated that he'd have to get past that, and his final years included the purchase of a Toyota van that is still parked in his driveway, where one of his sons lives.

      Interestingly enough - I inherited a Fender acoustic guitar, a very nice one...made in Japan.

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      Mark G Weller 5 years ago from Lake Charles, LA.

      This is powerfully written Bill. I agree with you all the way on this one. I see so many people that are deathly afraid of those that are different.They are what I call Authoritarians.In attempting to control others, they minimize their own inadequacy.

      Great Job!

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      Howard Schneider 5 years ago from Parsippany, New Jersey

      Beautiful Hub, Billybuc. There is so much intolerance in this country and this world. I am very reassured to hear of your overcoming it. My parents have and had their intolerances though not as pronounced. Being exposed to other cultures and education will often overcome this. We need as a people to continually discuss these issues to make this situation subside. Bravo on your inspirational letter.

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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Lisa! Sorry I beat you to this one; give an old man at least one idea, okay? As always my dear I wish you a great day in Tennessee and thank you for supporting me.

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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Kebennett, I completely agree with you; I have actually found writers in general to be very compassionate and tolerant people. Thank you for your lovely comment, one which I hope many people read.

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      Lisa 5 years ago from Tennessee

      Amen! These thoughts were running through my head last night and I thought it would make a good hub! How did you get in there? haha! Excellent writing and I'm so happy you tell it like it is! Voted awesome and up!

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      Kebennett1 5 years ago from San Bernardino County, California

      Very well put together and I pray it touches the heart of those who hate others because they are different. I am have a different opinion on a matter, but I can debate it without hatred and petty name calling. Hatred and racism IS vile. I thank my parents for not bringing me up in a home where these things were taught. People are all one race, the human race and believing in different things does not matter, that is what makes us all individuals. If I don't care for someone it is because who they are at heart (how they act and treat me and other people) not what what race they are, what political affiliation, what religion, gay or straight. What matters is simply their heart! Are they kind, trustworthy, truthful, decent people that's all that matters.

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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Deb, I'm laughing because I have thought the same thing...am I intolerant of intolerance? That makes me nervous for some reason. :) Thank you!

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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jasmith1, thank you so much for reading and commenting; I very happy that you enjoyed it as I felt it was a much-needed hub.

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      Deborah Neyens 5 years ago from Iowa

      Wow, great hub. But I can't tolerate narrow-mindedness, so does that make me intolerant, too? You've given us a lot to think about.

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      Adrian Smith 5 years ago from UK

      Really well said and great to hear how you came to your views.

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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Savanah, so nice to see you this morning. I heard it slightly different but the same thing...if it doesn't have my name on it don't pick it up...and it is pretty sad indeed. Thank you for the visit and the great comment.

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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jacy, we definitely grew up in different households. :) It's amazing I'm accepting today considering the things I heard growing up. Thank you my dear for supporting me.

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      savanahl 5 years ago

      Wow billybuc! I don't know who or what got you on this tangent but you speak some pretty powerful words here and you're so absolutely right. WHO CARES?

      An old friend of mine used to tell me all the time that if something that someone else is doing does not directly affect me then I have no business being upset about it.

      It's pretty sad to think that, in this day and age, there are still people out there that are so narrow minded. Thanks for sharing this piece.