I’m tired of the word “tolerance”.
I am tired of how it is waved around to promote a particular way of thinking/acting.
I am tired of the term being thrown in people’s faces. And I’m tired of “tolerance pissing contests”. I am tired of groups demanding tolerance from everybody else while engaging in intolerable behavior.
You know what? You don’t have to tolerate everything. It’s ok to be intolerant. Seriously. If something flies in the face of common decency, you don’t have to be tolerant of it. It’s not a rule and it shouldn’t even be a social expectation.
Besides, why would you even want to settle for tolerance?
Tolerate is something you do while having a root canal. You have to tolerate a hemorrhoid. You have to tolerate a mosquito that you can’t catch buzzing around your bedroom. Social etiquette dictates you have to tolerate an obnoxious guest (up to a point). To tolerate means to endure something because you have no choice.
But there are lot of thing you do have a choice of whether or not to tolerate.
I don’t want to tolerate you.
I want to endorse you. I want to support you. I want to build you up. Enlighten you and let you enlighten me. I want to work together to make us both the best human beings we can be.
But if you are engaging in intolerable behavior, you should not expect your behavior to be tolerated. That’s not an entitlement.
It does’t mean that people have a right to go around and harm you because you are doing intolerable things. But they absolutely have the right to make their disapproval of your intolerable behavior known.
What constitutes intolerable behavior?
Any behavior that harms (physically, emotionally, mentally or legislatively) another being, especially one who has not harmed anyone themselves.
Additionally, one who stands idly by while someone else harms another being.
Tolerance, as the term is being used today, is tacit approval of intolerable (read harmful) behavior.
So I’m tired of the term.
There is a lot of intolerable behavior going on today, and a lot of it happens behind a computer screen (example: trolling), while many of us vicariously enjoy it. That is intolerable.
How about engaging in behavior that harasses, alienates, ostracises, humiliates, or flat out causes physical harm (beating someone up) to someone on the basis of their race, sexuality or economic position? Of course we would agree that is intolerable.
What about voting for, or approving of legislation that allows that? Or failing to vote against it?
That’s intolerable too.
Having hateful views and acting on them is intolerable, but pandering to those who do this is also intolerable. Contributing money or otherwise supporting or enabling those who act on hateful views is, of course, also intolerable.
Failing to keep ones self abreast of new findings, teachings, or social developments, and failing to form a thoughtful and well balanced opinion on those is intolerable. Failure to critically think, even if the finding moves beyond your comfort level is intolerable. And forcing others to be bound by your closed mindedness (especially as relates to academia), even in the face of new developments is intolerable.
Why? Because it harms others. How? Because you are letting your narrow view of things sabotage their development. And you are sabotaging your own development.
Making yourself a martyr by passive-aggressively maintaining that someone and their “lifestyle”(another word I can’t stand) is sinful and an abomination, yet claiming you “have” to tolerate it (gee, thanks so much), is intolerable simply because it is disingenuous.
And another reason that it is intolerable is because it tacitly approves violence, discrimination and stigmatization. It takes away legitimacy from another human being and dictates their worth as less.
That is harming another being, who has not harmed anyone else.
If you are following a faith and you are using it, not to become a become a better person, but as an excuse to be a worse person, that is intolerable.
If, in the face of an occurrence of violence, threat of violence, intimidation or harassment of another being, you try to justify it by throwing red herrings about the first amendment and “quid pro quo” equations around for the purpose of derailing the disapproval of the fact that other beings were harmed, that is intolerable.
And if you engage in domestic violence or sexual assault, or fail to convey your disapproval (or try to stop it, if you can) when it happens or is in danger of happening, that is intolerable.
And you make jokes about it, or laugh at them; that also is intolerable.
Many reality shows are rife with intolerable behavior. Remember that obnoxious little prat, Simon Cowell? And how people were entertained by the cheap shots he made on people?
Lok at the numbskulls on Jersey Shore. Would you call their obnoxious behavior tolerable?
And what’s worse is that we watch it for our amusement, thus conveying tacit approval of intolerable behavior.
Bottom line is we must always strive to be better human beings. And the first step is not harm others, nor tolerate those who do.
Your behavior and your outlook is a reflection of your character. Failure to develop both of those to strive for the best possible product is intolerable.
So, you know what?
You are free from the mandate to be tolerant.
Don’t tolerate intolerable behavior form yourself. Don’t tolerate it from others.
It’s ok to be an intolerant bastard in the face of intolerable behavior.
It’s really easy.
Don’t harm others.
Don’t tolerate those who do.
And if that makes you intolerant, ok.
It seems that those who demand tolerance the loudest these days are those whose behavior is the most intolerable, anyway!