Em Maxey ~ Assistant Editor
Humanity shares a common experience: The dehumanization by sly, demeaning, or prejudice remarks. The world has a plague of passive injustice in the belief that tolerance is the highest compliment to an individual in which you share a disagreement. It is our highest duty as a species of humans to show compassion and affection towards others. This affection does not have to be romantic or love driven but rather given with sentiments and warmth.
Tolerance is defined in the Merriam-Webster dictionary first and foremost as the capacity to endure pain and hardship. It is defined secondly as the act of allowing something. Whether it be against the LGBT+ community, religions, races, or disabilities and abilities it is no longer enough to be tolerant. It is our expectation that we open our arms out to those in need of kindness.
Merriam-Webster defines acceptance as the quality or state of being accepted, then proceeds to define accept as to receive willingly. It is no longer enough to put up with LGBT+ as though they are the rash on the middle of your back that you can’t seem to reach. We will no longer endure racism as if it is the sweaty, smelly, loud, and obnoxious passenger beside you on a middle class flight. It is no longer enough to tolerate those of different beliefs and religions as though it is a cold sore on our lip that we must simply let it run its course. We must instead confront these people with love, compassion, understanding, and affirmation in which what we all wish for is to be truly accepted by others.
The true acceptance of others does not involve condescension and the breakdown of the needs and wants of another.
How can we as humans better ourselves so that we approach each other with acceptance rather than tolerance? The first step is to put all predispositions, prejudices and beliefs aside. Even if you disagree with another person, this should involve your favorite ice cream flavor, or even how you chose to discipline your kids, not the disregard and blatant mistreatment of individuals that we know as a world exist.
The second step is to not use religion or social norms as an excuse to be intolerant. Using religious text as an excuse for intolerance of homosexual marriage or other religions is unacceptable. First of all, marriage is more than a religious ceremony. Second, there is no way of knowing what religion is truly the “correct” one, should any of them be “correct. Most importantly, be as though the one you worship would be.
It is also no longer enough to be accepting while allowing intolerance to exist. My advice is to face intolerance for those who cannot, be a voice for those who have never had one, and love everyone unconditionally.