When you think of tolerance, do you think of physical tolerance, or philosophical tolerance? The capacity to endure continued subjection to something, be it a drug, transplant, antigen, or environmental conditions, without adverse reaction, is physical tolerance. The ability or willingness to forbear something, in particular the existence of opinions or behavior that one does not necessarily agree with, is philosophical tolerance.
What should one tolerate? At high school dances there is a zero alcohol tolerance and that is easily understood at face value. In parenting, the adults must tolerate their children’s lack of understanding of things like table manners. Again without further explanation we all get that kids are wild because they’re in the middle of growing. In american society, people are charged with the task of tolerating injustices to not upset the status quo. Whether from your perspective that means not talking back against PC culture, or not protesting against police brutality toward unsuspecting people of colour, I leave for you to decide, but the one thing that’s clear is perspective plays a huge role in individuals’ capacity for tolerance.
Evangelical Christians are known to have little tolerance towards the idea of homosexuality. Twitter users by the very nature of how Twitter works have little tolerance for nuance. I have little tolerance towards people who think evolution is a lie. And I’m sure you, reader, have certain things that really push your buttons above others. While some people can tolerate almost anything like a zen master, it reveals what having a maximum tolerance achieves, or lack-there-of. In my piece, Importance, I talk about how people should care about things. If they didn’t, we as a species wouldn’t have found the motivation to get out of our caves and innovate! But this drive, though used to currently fight for equality in the western world, is the same drive that gave us religious wars, slavery, genocide, and all other terrible setbacks we as a species have endured because of the will of the powerful.
Civility is the hope for a brighter and more peaceful future in society, but it shouldn’t be expected right now when equality is not yet set. Right now in America, the vast majority of the population are white Christians, which also tracks to political power. If an atheist, Jew, Muslim, Sikh, Buddhist, or Jain tried to run for power, the masses would not vote them in. That shows a clear disparity against the minorities when the will of one group controls the others. The only things keeping Christians from enforcing their specifics beliefs like anti-abortion, anti-gay rights, and so on across America, is the separation of church and state laws. If they were not placed into effect by the country’s founders… America would be a much worse place currently. Now, if you have taken offence by my ragging on Christianity’s place of power in America, I’m sorry. It was not my intention to offend, but merely inform. The western world is currently the most inclusive pair of nations on the planet, but just because it’s not like Saudi Arabia or Japan, does not mean there isn’t still a long way to go with inclusion.
Tolerance by its nature does not spread evenly across a given matrix, it pulls and wanes depending on the population and vigor of groups of people, so all we can do is get it as close as we can to equality without loosing liberty and freedom in the process. Every person deserves a fair start at life. Kids deserve the benefit of the doubt while growing up. Pains deserve a modicum of tolerance before seeking to disband it. And as always, we all deserve love. Thank you for reading. I’ll talk to you guys next time.