Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Tolerance Is Grossly Underrated


tol·er·ance (tŏl'ər-əns) n. The capacity for or the practice of recognizing and respecting the beliefs or practices of others.

Even though we live in the 21st century and we are supposed to be enlightened, we are still concerned with the color of one’s skin, the god they worship and the person they love.

I just read a report on ABC News about J.K. Rowling’s announcement that Dumbledore is gay. So, what is the problem with that? I have many gay friends and did not notice anything related to Dumbledore’s sexuality when I read Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. And so what if I did? What is the big problem?

My sons are growing up knowing the world is richly populated with all types of people, and that is a good thing. If we were all the same, life would be pretty boring. I can proudly proclaim that my sons are colorblind, appreciative of other faiths and customs, and whom a person loves will not be an issue with them as they grow. We have not even gotten to the age where love and relationships matter to them, but I do not expect their level of tolerance to change.

Moreover, why do we use the word “tolerance?” Do we have to steal ourselves to “tolerate” someone who has a sex life different from our own? Do have to tolerate someone whose skin is a different color? Do we have to “tolerate” someone who worships differently than we do? Why am I still shaking my head in 2007?

What do you think?

Are you open about the world and its inhabitants with your children?

I hope this question generates intelligent and thoughtful responses. All thoughts are welcome, but do not slam or bash anyone or your comment will be deleted immediately. Ignorance is one thing for which I have absolutely no tolerance.

1 comment:

suburbancorrespondent said...

I think that the issue here is that of tolerance versus acceptance. Sure, I can teach my children to tolerate differing viewpoints and lifestyles. But that doesn't mean that I teach them to embrace them with open arms. I feel free to tell my kids what I think may be wrong with a particular viewpoint or lifestyle also.