- Politics and Social Issues
Can you practice Tolerance in your daily life?
Do you practice tolerance in your daily life? Do you find your blood pressure rising as you listen to parts of the A.M./P.M. newscast; driving behind the wheel on the way to work or school; dealing with the elderly in the check out line? Certainly, there are times when we all lose our patience to cope and show intolerance towards the people who get in our way. We are only human , after all. But if you have reached the point of violence on the road, if you feel you want to stuff those words down that announcers throat , perhaps you need to take time for some healthy introspection.
Tolerance - tr.v. - (1) to allow without prohibiting or opposing; permit. (2) To recognize and respect ( the rights, opinions or practices of others) . (3) To put up with; endure.
The American Heritage Dictionary - Second College Edition.
We have reached a period in our evolution as a nation where tolerance appears to be optional. How can that be? We are or were the greatest nation on earth because we are a melting pot of nationalities. In NYC and perhaps even Philadelphia, an example of every race in the world may be found. No other country has shown such diversity. We are a nation that currently has to fight to keep people from entering not leaving our land. We can no longer afford "Your tired, your downtrodden, your poor..."
What has become of our value system when we feel the need to mock or deny the rights of our citizens? When we need to shame our president because of his skin color. Several arcades across America have featured caricatures of Obama as the enemy . Patrons are encouraged to knock the plate out of his hand or even worse to shoot the figure down. One even had a bulls eye painted on the figures head! Is this a wise practice? Are we having "fun" ? Or is this blatant intolerance?
Fresh off the bus, my freshman year of high school, we came in the door with a huge problem. We were the only white kids at the bus stop. "Call the school mom, you can change this , mom, please," we implored. With her usually serious demeanor and no nonsense style, she asked, "Define your problem." We hemmed and hauled coming up with only we were in the minority and how far we lived from the stop.
To get to the bus stop was a ten to fifteen minute walk around the neighboring high school athletic field. We could shorten the walk by cutting through the yards of a few houses next to the field in bad weather. We told mom we shouldn't have to walk that far, it was unsafe and too long. My dad was the neighborhood tinkerer. A body man by trade he could fix anything. He repaired lawn mowers or reconditioned them; charging only what his customer could afford. This adjoining neighborhood just happened to have many of dad's customers , who knew him by name. ( My mother knew this. )
"No, I will not call the school for such a lame reason. Remember all the times those kids were the only black children at your bus stop ; well it's your turn, now. Don't ask me again. That is my final decision," she affirmed. The mother of six meant what she said.
We had a rainy, chilly November that year. During the first really cold and miserable morning at the bus stop we heard a female's voice from inside the house with the pretty white front porch. "Tyrone, Tyrone, those kids have weak constitution, Tyrone. Get them on the front porch now!" Our school's two hundred pound fullback meekly lumbered over with his head bowed down. He said, "Please wait up on the front porch, would ya. Momma won't take no for an answer, believe me". So we did. Tyrone and I had the same mother!
We never had an incident at that bus stop during the two or three years we all stood there. We formed new friendships that might not have bloomed at school. In good weather we loved the long walk home. We got to watch the daily comings and goings of these neighbors , only to learn they lived a lot like we did. We enjoyed our time at the bus stop, never feeling in harms way.
Written to fellow hubbers only.
As we use the forums on hubpages, are we being tolerant of others opinions? Do we respect our colleagues right to their opinion? Or do we feel the need to yell, name call or show how much smarter we are by hitting that culprit over the head with all of our facts .
If we are better educated, better read than the average citizen and cannot show tolerance to our fellow hubbers ; who should listen to our opinions? An open mind is essential to be able to grow each day. If as budding writers , we are not able to tolerate opinions, races, beliefs then we are destined to fail as a society.
"The finest gift a man can give to his age and time is the gift of a constructive and creative life." The Art of Living by Wilfred A. Peterson.