Saturday, December 1, 2012

Tolerance Week 2012

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By Diane Forrest

If you have ever seen a small child playing with a pet, then you will understand the definition of tolerance.  I was watching as my neighbor's small child was playing with their family dog, pulling on its ears, playing dress up with it.  The poor dog just laid there, looking bored and disinterest.  Had I been the pup...I would have most assuredly growled at the irritating actions.
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A few months ago my father drew me a graph; I taped it on my desk as a reminder.  The graph shows a proportion to the age, and how much you let bother you.  In other words, the older he gets, the less he lets things bother him.  It is simply not healthy or worth it to worry about how others affect him.  He has just decided to remain calm cool and collected.   He learned long ago, that the more he gets worked up over some things, the less beneficial it is for him.  Things or people will not change just because he wants it to happen.
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This world is made up of many different people, with different backgrounds, religions, races and nationalities. My cousin has spent the better part of his 50 something years in Texas.  Texans are not known for their tolerance, especially when it pertains to lawbreakers.  Last week he celebrated his first anniversary with his bride, a native of Pakistan.  I couldn’t imagine a more diverse relationship.  I talked with him before they were married, and asked him how they made it work with such obvious differences in their upbringings.  He explained to me, that even with the differences in religion and politics and language, that they still had the same values.
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People are just people.  They love their families, their friends, and for the most part know the difference between right and wrong, and try to do their best to differentiate between them.  I have a friend, who is as opposite from me as I could imagine.  He is Italian, Catholic, Democrat and I am English, Baptist and Republican.  He has his opinions that are pretty much set in stone, and I have mine.  Instead of arguing and disagreeing over them, we listen to each other’s views, and respect the different opinions.  While we may secretly wish to change their mind, we don’t have to agree, but we tolerate their views.
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This week is Tolerance week.  I can't think of a better way to begin the holiday season than to practice tolerance, peace and good will to your fellow man.  As I was reading about this day, I was looking at different ways to participate in this week.  I read that one teacher planned to wear a different pair of shoes, that were not her own.  Her plan was to "Walk in someone else's shoes" to try to experience what they may be feeling.   Acceptance & Inclusiveness Member Sylvia Sheperd stated that "We all care about each other and we want to do what we can to show that. When students have support, they do better and we're trying to offer support."  Showing tolerance doesn’t mean that you have to agree with someone else, just respect their right to voice their opinion, just as you have the right to voice yours.

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So this week, practice a little tolerance toward your neighbor, and who knows, it might just keep going on to another week, and then a month until you tolerate others all the time and make your little piece of the world a better place.

1 comment:

  1. Wise words we all could and should live by.

    ReplyDelete