I feel less tolerant these days listening to the increasing reports of racism, bigotry, hate, injustice, political crimes, police violence, and the endless parade of infantile, ineffective, self-aggrandizing politicians. I am glad to see the lid being torn off the world and the ugliness revealed, but it is hard too see how much ugliness there is. It is so much easier to be blind to it. But to heal you need to face yourself, and the world is taking a healing step. I know that healing comes in waves, the intense challenging periods are interspersed with periods of reorganization and respite, then another wave of intense challenging healing. As the world heals so do we all, and it is hard to face our own ugliness.
Healing depends on an understanding of where our intolerances lie, and how appropriate they are for us to function in society.
We all must face our intolerance with those that are different, those that don’t live or think like us, with those that function in different ways than us. Especially, right now we must be tolerant of others, be supportive of all our differences, yet be ready to assist where needed for all people to heal. You cannot make someone heal, they only heal when they are ready, and then need support when they do.
At the same time, we ask for tolerance from those around us, to look at us, understand our differences, allow us the space to be us, and not demand we follow supposed “societal norms” that we challenge by simply being who we are. Our society must allow for greater differences, so all of us can be ourselves, while ensuring that no-one has the right to pressure others to conform to their view, be it religious, political, philosophy, or lifestyle. Nor can we intrude on each other’s rights to peace, safety, or happiness.
Every day I must challenge my own intolerances, while I assert my right to be different. I am not you; you are not me. We all have a right to be who we are while we make space for those that are different from us.