I think the word tolerance is one of the most used words of nowadays. But why for many people it has received a bad and negative meaning or subtext?
The movement of being tolerant has started a long while ago. At first many people didn’t properly understand it, what it actually meant, what they should do etc. Then started to understand and accept that. But the more it goes, the more people are being sick of it (an important remark: not sick from different nations, genders or orientations, but from the pseudo-tolerance itself). I really love studying people and their mentality. The best and easiest way to do it is reading comments. Yes, simple comments in various media platforms can help you understand people, how and what they think. And recently I’ve been noticing a lot, that people are already tired of this fake tolerance. Why fake? Because it is. It was initially created to give everyone, every single person the right to do and say what they want and not be judged for that. Be seen not as a person of this religion or nationality etc, but as an individual. To be free as who they are. And I truly think it’s great. All these fake criteria have been created to separate us even further, and tolerance was a very good way to destroy all these walls. But as you may see, these walls still stand strong. So why is it so?
It’s because the tolerance started to be used as a one-sided mechanism. And perhaphs even it is being used now to spread more hatred among us. People are now afraid to state their opinions, especially celebrities or other famous people and I’m really sorry for them, because they often don’t get to share their honest opinions, they’re kind of locked in a cage, where every their word is pre-planned and they can’t say anything else. Because one wrong word or even syllable, and that’s it, people will be “canceling” them. As if the celebrities don’t have the right to think differently than the majority. People have become too vulnerable and easily offended. They treat everyone as an enemy and every word or even intonation as an offense. While in reality, most people don’t even mean what they say. Our brains now work non-stop, we may all be absentminded and say one thing and and mean completely sth else.
Here I should state, that I don’t mean all the violence that is against different groups of people. Any kind of violence to any kind of a person (or even animals and nature) for me is bad and unacceptable. And it is really ridiculous, how normal people measure their every word in order not to even slightly offend anyone, but someone else will just kill a person just because they’re of a different orientation or nationality. Those people should and must be punished, but not the ones who may just state their opinion in their own personal social media page or among friends.
I think the problem is with the word “tolerance” itself. What does it mean to tolerate something? It means that you may hate someone or something, that you think the worst about them, but for some reason you have to tolerate it. Do you notice its negative connotation? Because in reality you know that you aren’t okay with this situation or this person, and you can’t control your feelings and hold yourself back forever, and one day you can just explode. But what if we changed the word tolerance for acceptance? Isn’t it a better, more positive word? If someone said to you “I accept you“, wouldn’t it sound a hundred times better rather than “I tolerate you“? I think it does. Acceptance is the best answer. I may not understand something, I may not like it or want it, I may think that for me personally this is bad. But I accept it. I accept you. Because it’s your life, your choices, it doesn’t have to bother me. When we have a “strange” friend or relative, whom we don’t always understand, who has other worldview and opinions, we don’t think that we somehow tolerate them right? We just accept that person with all their pros and cons. Now imagine the same in a bigger scale.
You can’t change the world and all this madness with a simple replacement of one word. But that one word somehow changes our attitude and perspective and can become a start to a new, better and more positive movement. See another example. When I think about tolerating someone else, it kind of creates the feeling of me being superior to this person, doesn’t it? That I’m the bigger person here, tolerating your bad side. And this already wrecks up everything. But when I think about accepting you, it creates the feeling of us being equals, standing on the same level, the same ground. It means that we both have our differences, but that doesn’t make one of us better or worse. It means justice, balance, fairness. I accept you, you accept me. And that’s it. Hopefully one day we’ll reach to this on a global level.