Today’s topic of discussion is the subject of intolerance. It could be said that intolerance is the root cause for the majority of the problems that plague our not only our local society, but the world in general. Its no coincidence that I’d write this after election day, largely because I witnessed some pretty disgusting behavior leading up to the election, which lead to our nation becoming divided. Since intolerance in our country runs far deeper than politics, I wanna discuss it in whole. But first, let’s define intolerance.
1. lack of toleration; unwillingness or refusal to tolerate or respect contrary opinions or beliefs, persons of different races or backgrounds, etc.
By that definition, it would seem that intolerance only pertains to the unwillingness to accept anyone because of their race or culture. But it goes deeper than that. If you take part in anything pertaining to race, religion, politics, sexual orientation, etc., you are taking part in intolerance. This intolerant behavior has caused us to forget one very important thing — we are all people. Regardless of whatever title is attached to us, we are all human beings. I’m guilty of it too, so I’m not speaking only to my readers, this message is for myself as well. Although I will admit that I’m way more tolerant than the average person.
Now let’s discuss what I consider to be the two most ignorant (and fatal) forms of intolerance — religion and racism. Both religion and racism is responsible for some unspeakable acts of evil, especially violence. What’s sad about these two forms of intolerance is that both are usually acquired not as a result of a person developing those beliefs themselves, but that parents pass on those beliefs to the child. No one is born racist or religious…it has to be learned. If I were to ask any racist or religious person to tell me WHY they feel as they do, I bet every single one of them would tell me its because they were raised that way. Some people like to fake the funk and say they’ve done research to prove their views are correct. But what kind of research? If you’re a christian, chances are, the only “research” you’ve done is go to church and read the bible. In other words, you’ve done nothing more try to confirm your beliefs…not research. True research involves forgetting everything you thought you knew and approaching the subject from three angles: the pro, the con and the neutral. After hearing all three points of view and choosing which to adopt as your belief system, then you can say you’ve done thorough research and arrived at your own beliefs.
Even down to politics, most people believe as they do because they’ve inherited their parent’s views. This system, that of passing beliefs down from parent to child is called Social Heredity. Because of Social Heredity, most people who harbor hate do so without even knowing why. Even worst, their parents inherited their beliefs from their parents and on and on and on. I bet none of them could tell you WHY they believe as they do, all they know is they were taught that way. In my opinion, that’s unacceptable. For you parents out there, heed what I’m saying!
Can you imagine that? Hating someone because of the color of their skin or because they don’t follow the same religious dogma? There are even people who won’t date or even befriend someone who’s of a different race or religion. Sounds like a pretty miserable way to live, to me. I had this discussion with someone a few years ago. This guy told me that there’s not a chance in hell he’d date a woman of a different religion. I asked him WHY. He told me that being of the same religion is necessary for two people to be happy together. All I could do is shake my head at the ridiculousness of that statement. That by itself not a justifiable reason to not date someone. I do understand not dating certain religious types of people because they can be really annoying, disrespectful of your beliefs and judgmental (especially christians). If that’s what the guy was trying to say, then I understand.
Now that we’ve explained how intolerance continues to grow generation, despite people fighting against it, here’s where we try to talk some sense into the world.
If you own a company (or handle the hiring at a company), are you telling me that you’d turn away a perfectly qualified candidate because they’re gay? If you’re a single man or woman, are you telling me you’d turn down a person who is everything you’ve ever wanted just because they’re of a different religion? If you were stranded on the side of a road, are you telling me you’d refuse help from a passing motorist just because they’re black? If there was an injustice occurring which you wished to fight, are you telling me you’d refuse to work with the only person who could help you because he’s a republican? And on it goes.
(Quick Note: race, religion, politics, sexual orientation, etc., has no business even being discussed in a place of business. You all are there to get a job done, that’s it. Do you think I give a fuck whether a client of mine is gay/straight, black/white, democrat/republican? All I care about are whether they are good people with the money to pay for my services!)
Yes, there are people of certain groups that prove certain stereotypes true, but as we all know, one person doesn’t define a whole group. We’ve got to look at people as individuals, not by titles. It reminds me something I tell women all the time. A woman may tell me, “you should respect women!” In response I always say, “No, I don’t respect women, I respect people. If you’re a good PERSON who’s deserving of respect based on your individual deeds and not your gender, then I respect you.” That’s the same approach we’ve got to take all around.
I wouldn’t be as naive as to advise you to pretend these differences don’t exist. That’s be plain ole bullshit because anyone with eyes will see a difference. The key is NOT to pretend they don’t exist. The key is to notice these difference and respect them! Besides, without referring to a negative stereotype or your religious upbringing, not a single one of you could give me a good reason as to why you don’t respect a person who’s different from yourself.
We have also got to understand that these labels that we pay so much attention to are nothing more than walls put up in order to keep us divided, which keeps the masses powerless. No cooperation = no power. That makes it easier for those in the know to rule over the population. That is why a small group of people can rule over billions of people…just give them something senseless to fight about. Has it not worked? If people can’t even come together because they’re too focused on religion, race, gender, politics, sexual preference, etc., then how will the masses of people ever create a peaceful world? Put it this way, if you and another person were in a life or death situation and had no one but each other to turn to, I’m sure you wouldn’t give a fuck about their race, religion, political views, etc. The two of you would work together to resolve the situation. But can’t do the same thing to increase the quality of life in our communities?
Whether you believe it or not, we ARE in a life or death situation! The future survival of our world depends on whether or not people can learn to put aside petty differences and work together. We may not see it in this life time, but let’s make it easier for future generations.