Tolerance

I’m feeling melancholy today.  A memory popped up on Facebook about a cancelled hearing and waiting for a trial date.  Not something pleasant to share with a smile.  A hard time.  A sad time.

This is, in its own way, a sad time.  Not like then, of course not.  But sad, nonetheless.  I almost feel as though our country has fallen into some kind of dark hole, and that is hard to get people to even see the need to climb out.  Why such horrible intolerance and cruelty?  No one listens to each other, and the walls between belief systems have grown so tall!  It’s us or them now.  If you don’t believe everything that I do, and toe some kind of invisible line, then you are a horrible, evil person, and I get to call you names, hope for your downfall, cheer when you are in pain, and say that it serves you right.  Why?  Is this the America of barn raisings, and bringing food to your neighbor in sorrow, and picking up a stranger’s child who has fallen from a bicycle?  I see many posts that mourn the loss of these things, but the same people post that California should fall into the ocean and good riddance.  Or advocate withholding medical care from a sick child because of wrongs done by the parent.  You can’t have both.  This is a kind nation, kind to everyone, or it’s a mean selfish nation and only a small percentage deserves to prosper.  Which do you want to live in?  Seriously?  If your town was facing a flood, or you lost your job, or your faith was used as a reason to persecute you, how would you hope the rest of the nation would respond?

i’ve been thinking about my boys a lot today.  Neal was invariably kind and helpful to everyone, whether he knew them or not.  Ian, made friends right and left, at the drop of a hat.  It never occurred to him that anyone was not his friend at first sight.  And Devon, he was a builder of bridges.  He brought disparate groups of children together, and included everyone in play – even kids who didn’t like Star Wars.  No one was “other” to Devon.  The only times I ever saw him angry, was when someone was being treated unfairly.  He was 7 years old.  He saw the wothiness in every single person, and acted on it every single day!  Why can’t today’s adults manage to even be civil to each other?  Tolerance shouldn’t be either a meaningless buzz word, or something to snear at… not in a pluralistic, democratic, humanistic society like this is supposed to be.  Be a Devon for a change.  Build a bridge.  You will find that you have many things in common with people on the other side of the canyon.  Have some tolerance.  Monkey.

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