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Tolerating the Tolerators. or What the World Needs Now...

Updated on April 13, 2009

This was inspired by the hub “I don’t Know” that was written by Spryte.

I have been reading hubs for months. I find that I have become addicted to them. I often find myself succumbing to inaction, due to overreaction (my own). I wanted to leave a comment to a beautifully written hub. But what do I say? “Nice hub” seems too shallow, seeing as though I am largely unknown amongst all but one of the Hubbers, and have not gained the respect that so many “Hubbers” have (and deserve) for each other. I started to write my comment, and found it too long. It veered off to the left somewhere. I am prone to ramble with my head in the clouds.


I was introduced to religion kind of late in my childhood. About 4th grade when I was sent to a Lutheran school. I was sent for the academics, not the religion, but my parents let me make up my own mind. I had heard the term “God” before, but that was that. Oh my, all of this new stuff that I did not know. I had to catch up with the other kids. By 6th grade I was asked if I believed without a doubt in my heart. I asked myself, “Did I?” To me, that meant that I did not.

I read the bible front to back, thought, pondered, re-read. Started asking myself about the old testament Jewish aspect. I found out that they left so much of that out. Looked hard at Judaism. This brought about questions of history and politics. My best friend was Catholic. I looked into that. I eventually became a total atheist.

But one day, I felt that there may be more out there. I then looked into Eastern and Earth based religions.

I have found people in each group, in which that religion worked for them. Truly. Not just professing. You could see it in their eyes, their body language. I seemed to find that they were also the ones most accepting of others and their beliefs. I have found my own feelings, my own beliefs. And they work for me. I also believe that if what you have found, if anything , works for you, then it is true.

The word tolerance.

I have the slightest issue with the word tolerance. Tolerance is a strange word. To be endured. It seems to imply annoyance, which will not be punished.

How much can you tolerate before your resistance can resist no more? With all of our words, they evolve.

Tolerance it seems, has certainly evolved. As a noun tolerance means “the quality of accepting other people's rights to their own opinions, beliefs, or actions."

In the 1953 Unabridged Webster’s New 20th Century Dictionary:

Tolerate, v.

1. To suffer to be or to be done without prohibition or hindrance; to allow or permit negatively, by not preventing; not restrain.

Toleration, n

1. The act of tolerating; allowance given to that which is not wholly approved.

Catch words and catch phrases take on new meanings. I find it funny that I refer to all tissue paper (the type for cleaning ones proboscis, dabbing at a tear) as Kleenex. (Obviously a marketing strategy that was successful). I must not have evolved as quickly as the word because I still find a stigma applied to the word tolerance.

My wife (love her dearly) also finds that she feels that the word has a limiting stigma attached to it. She brought this up to me a few months ago after hearing something on NPR in favor of “Tolerance”. ..

Tolerating the Tolerators and Certain Digression.

I, having already thought of it, mulled it over, and forgot about it: In essence “tolerating” those liberals of whom were currently rattling the saber for more “tolerance” and finally accepting their term for it, decided to take up the position of devils advocate.

I took up their saber, and argued her to the teeth like a true zealot, as if she did not get the point. As if this was too big an issue for her to bring down with a small “technicality”.

Sometimes I can’t help myself in that department. I love a good debate, even if I don’t fully believe the cause; I tend to enjoy trying to bend people to my point.

She was running out of ways to avoid the obstacles that I threw down in her path, but would not budge. (Did I say how much I love that woman?) She actually looked at me with a kind of sadness in her eyes, like “how could you of all people not get this?”

I felt bad for having gone too far, since I had already come to the same conclusion as she did earlier, and knew that she did not enjoy debating. Especially my style. I felt, and still do feel ashamed for carrying on so. (Sorry Hun, couldn’t help it) But I digress.

We cannot tolerate this
We cannot tolerate this

What the World Needs NOW

I feel the world needs to accept. Totally. Not just religions, but color, race, sexual orientation and political leanings to name a few. But like Bob Wily, Baby steps. Tolerance is great start.

I believe that the human race will not be accepting till the world falls apart, much like in Star Trek, when the world was almost reduced to tribalism before uniting.

I feel that if we don’t start accepting, it may come to that. I have utopian dreams, but pessimistic views on the human race. I just feel that after thousands of years, we could have come farther as a species. It must just be in our nature.

That being said, the world could use a whole lot of tolerance. And I hope that the current marketing strategy for tolerance pays off.





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    • Paper Moon profile image

      Paper Moon 8 years ago from In the clouds

      Thanks for your wonderful comment. Sadly this week I have found myself in an area where they do not like anything different from them. Slightly Christian, white semi country folk. They do not like "Strange religions", accents, fancy artsy types or people of color. I know there are lots of places like that in our country, but sad to find myself surrounded by them. When will we ever learn?

    • SEM Pro profile image

      SEM Pro 8 years ago from North America

      Still listening to all the vids but LOVE your clarity and self awareness! As an optimist, I prefer "marketing" acceptance :) I believe with acceptance we find inner peace, thus we contribute to the creation of universal unity. And will debate that anytime lol Thank you for sharing

    • Paper Moon profile image

      Paper Moon 9 years ago from In the clouds

      ColdWarBaby- Step away from the mushroom cloud, I repeat step away from the mushroom cloud.

      Shalini- even in understanding it, it is hard to practice. I just wish more people would try.

    • Shalini Kagal profile image

      Shalini Kagal 9 years ago from India

      Nice new avatar :)

      Loved your hub - yes, tolerance is a first step and acceptance should be our goal. But it's human to swim against the tide, don't you think? We've always been a contrary species, never wanting to live within the perfect balance and harmony of Nature. And when we sing out of key, we upset everything around us. The tragic part is, acceptance is sooo easy - if only we decide to practise it!

    • profile image

      ColdWarBaby 9 years ago

      That mushroom cloud is gorgeous! Where did you get it? Mind if I add it to my collection?

      The Pessimistic Utopian. You've finally given me my label! Now I now what to tell people when they ask me to define my philosophy. I'm a Pessimistic Utopian or maybe a Utopian Pessimist. I love it! Seriously.

      Acceptance is such a crucial concept and should be so easy. All that's needed is the ability to agree to disagree without animosity. There is a need for differences. There is no need for hostility because of them.

    • Paper Moon profile image

      Paper Moon 9 years ago from In the clouds

      k@riand Jewels, sorry to have been amiss in the reply, my mind slips and life is hectic. Thank you so much for the comments.

    • Jewels profile image

      Jewels 9 years ago from Australia

      We certainly seem to be making a mess of things. Nice hub Paper Moon.

    • k@ri profile image

      Kari Poulsen 9 years ago from Ohio

      I love how you highlight the differences between tolerance and acceptance. They are truly two very different concepts!

    • Paper Moon profile image

      Paper Moon 9 years ago from In the clouds

      Frieda- We can always dream that there must be some corner of the world, where it may be happening in some form, but not in a disruptive way.

    • Frieda Babbley profile image

      Frieda Babbley 9 years ago from Saint Louis, MO

      There isnt a place in the world that I know of that this isn't going on in one form or another. So I wouldn't even go so far as to say almost.

    • Paper Moon profile image

      Paper Moon 9 years ago from In the clouds

      Druneric- The human race is indeed bizarre.  It amazes me how many people get upset about this message.  One that asks people to treat others, as they want to be treated. Dont get me started or I will have to move off of hubs and into writing a book! lol.

      Frieda- I too can get extremely emotional in many ways when seeing things like that.  It is a shame that it seems to be going on all over the world (almost). 

    • Frieda Babbley profile image

      Frieda Babbley 9 years ago from Saint Louis, MO

      druneric, I do agree! It is mind-boggling. That video was really hard for me to watch. Really hard. I just burst into tears of anger and confusion.

    • druneric profile image

      Donna Runeric 9 years ago from Ohio

      Hi there! Great read! Unfortunately for this hubber, I'm in the midst of tolerating becoming re-employed--and at my age! Will try, try, try to read more of your insights. I love thinkers.

      The Youtube (2nd down) is mind-boggling and screams of what I see as one of the most bizarre qualities of the human race.

    • Paper Moon profile image

      Paper Moon 9 years ago from In the clouds


      I fell in love with the Caribbean at the young age of 8, on another Island. The people were so full of life. Nothing like back home in Saint Louis. Even at that young age I noticed the world of difference. People who had so little, yet were happier and more full of life than people who had much. I have heard that Trinidad was a cultural melting pot. After reading your beautiful hubs, and seeing your wonderful art work, the gypsy in my soul was seduced, I would love to experience your beautiful island and culture.

    • sharrie69 profile image

      sharrie69 9 years ago from Trinidad (an island in the Caribbean)

      Maybe you need to come visit our island. I think the world can take a lesson or two aobut getting along from us. Check it out here: Our watchwords are "Dicipline, Production and Tolerance" so your hub caught my eye. :-) Love the avatar. Good writing.

    • Paper Moon profile image

      Paper Moon 9 years ago from In the clouds

      Spryte- Thank you for your hub, it really got me going. :)

      Elena- I am pleased that you liked it.  And for the avitar, I love old pics like that.  After choosing my name I was thrilled to find it.   I have been enjoying your hubs, so thank you for that.

    • Elena. profile image

      Elena. 9 years ago from Madrid

      This is right up my alley, Paper Moon, good job! Dig your avatar, by the way :-)

    • spryte profile image

      spryte 9 years ago from Arizona, USA

      Paper Moon - I'm floored, flattered and tickled pink at the same time. Thanks for bringing my hub to the attention of others in your well-written piece.

      LOL! I feel for your wife...but my husband and I carry on pretty much the same way. Sometimes we'll both be arguing the same side, have the same fundamental goal...but simply because we see it differently is cause for arg...err...discussion. :)

      I think I'll have to rank the toleration of tolerance right up there with the war for peace. Haha!

    • Paper Moon profile image

      Paper Moon 9 years ago from In the clouds

      Issues veritas- thank you for taking time to stop by.  After seeing your profile, and a few of your hubs, I thought I should let you know that I accept your religion, your political views, but will only tolerate your comment (s).

      P.S.  I am not a closet freak, I am an “out in the open freak”  Please stop by again as I am sure you will find something else to irk your goat! ;)


      SoulaBee- Thank you for your comment.  I find so many hubs that I love and rate, but tend not to comment as I can get rather long winded.  (Love your hubs by the way)

       Tom Cornett- You are welcome, and Thank you.

    • Tom Cornett profile image

      Tom Cornett 9 years ago from Ohio

      Great hub....God created the world beautifully.....only in the confines of judgemental religion, it is ugly. Thanks! :)

    • SoulaBee profile image

      SoulaBee 9 years ago from United States

      WTF? You really do have issues, don't you issues veritas! Something in this hub scare you or something?

      Paper Moon, I love this hub and I love the fact that it was inspired by another hubber. Acceptance and tolerance really are two different things. Thanks for sharing. Great videos.

    • profile image

      issues veritas 9 years ago

      Total waste of font.

      Another closet freak writes a hub

    • profile image

      issues veritas 9 years ago

      Total waste of font.

      Another closet freak writes a hub


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