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Since the horrific Orlando shootings, I have seen an outpouring of love and hope for the LGBT community. It is heartwarming to see such support, only I wish it did not take an act of violence for us all to come together.
So many people have used words of love as they comfort those who have lost so much, so tragically. But I have also heard talks about "tolerance." And in the words of Inigo Montoya from the Princess Bride, "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."
Tolerance is allowing the existence, occurrence, or practice of something that you do not necessarily agree with or like, to happen without interference. It implies that you are enduring something unpleasant rather than making it stop.
When I taught high school students new vocabulary, I had them do various activities to show they truly understood the new word. Things like skits, illustrations, and concrete examples. So in the spirit of true education, let's give it a try, grown-up style:
I go to my yearly OBGYN visit because it is a necessary checkup for my health, and thus far, no one has invented a better method to check those parts. However I find the experience unpleasant even though I allow it to occur. That is tolerance.
In the aftermath of another violent, heinous action by a very disturbed individual, I hear people talking about promoting an atmosphere of tolerance for lifestyles that they don't agree with, or religions that they don't subscribe to, or pretty much anything that someone believes, that they do not. And while I applaud them for starting a conversation about ideas and choices out of their comfort zone, I'm not ready to pat them on the back for their so-called enlightened attitude. In fact, I say screw "tolerance".
As a woman in a committed relationship who has chosen voluntarily not to have children, I get my (UN)fair share of judgmental comments.
Tolerance implies that one person's truth or life, is superior to another person's truth or life.
The ACTUAL truth is each and every one of us have aspects of our lives that someone else would not understand, would not choose for themselves, would not want for someone else they loved. But before we decide to "tolerate" someone else's lifestyle or choices, I ask that we take a moment to see the world through that person's eyes. Better yet, step clear into that person's soul for a moment and look back at ourselves and ask...
What we need is love, understanding, and respect for us all as human beings who live, breathe, and share this beautiful planet.
So while the politicians are duking it out over the next move to keep our communities safe:
And so I say, down with tolerance.
I choose love.
Orlando, my heart is with you.
Samantha Eve, a