The early 21st century was a fascinating era in history to be a writer. Language is always evolving and changing but something very bizarre began to happen in Western culture during this time period. In the late 20th century, the term “politically correct” came into fashion. The definition of this term basically means “censoring one’s own language due to a fear of offending minuscule percentages of the population who misguidedly believe they possess the authority to dictate which words, figures of speech, or slang others are permitted to speak.”
All writers are fascinated with the etymology of words. One of the terrible words often used by those who try to enforce “politically correct” language is the word “tolerance”. Politically correct people think tolerance is a good thing. They speak of it as though it should be encouraged. The context in which the word is used is typically in regard to controversial sociological conflicts. Opposing views on gender or sexuality or religion or heritage are often commanded they need to be met with tolerance.
I’ve always hated the word “tolerance”. You will too, once I explain why. Tolerance is horrible.
By definition, tolerance means “to allow something that is bad or unpleasant to exist, happen, or be done”. Being tolerant means something bothers you, but you’re going to keep your mouth shut and endure it. You will tolerate it. Your roommate keeps leaving the cap off the toothpaste or dirty dishes in the sink. Instead of asking them to stop, and confronting the issue, you’ll allow it to continue. You won’t say anything. You’ll tolerate having to clean up after them. What kind of sissifed way to live is that? Tolerance means ignoring your own ideology, even if others are going against your values. There is nothing noble or good about “tolerating” things you disagree with. By it’s definition, tolerance is kind of sleazy, because it means betraying yourself and lying to others.
Tolerance is awful. If you and your friends have a disagreement, do you want them to sympathize with your viewpoint or do you want them to tolerate it? Tolerance is placating passive-aggressive bullshit. Unfortunately our culture has long been devolving into a passive-aggressive society. Everyone is Prozac-ed and Ritalin-ed and Percocet-ed and Vicodin-ed into conformist zombies. Hey man, everybody join the dopehead party. Just be tolerant.
Tolerance is complacency at it’s worst. Tolerance is saying, “I don’t like what you’re doing and I will never find it acceptable, but I’m just going to keep that to myself and I won’t tell you I disapprove of your actions.”
Tolerance is not good. Tolerance does not lead to peace and harmony. Tolerance is phony. Tolerance is a mask. Wearing a fake smile when you are gritting your teeth inside. Tolerate it. Tolerance is simply suppressing the anger, ignoring the pain, pushing your feelings aside and sucking it up. When someone encourages you to practice tolerance, what they are really telling you is, “We don’t care if you disagree. Keep your mouth shut.”
From time to time you may certainly encounter people who are so monumentally ignorant and vapid they won’t be able to debate your grievances with any semblance of reason or maturity. When someone perceives themselves to be Einstein but actually possesses the intelligence of a flatworm, don’t waste your breath trying to argue with them. Some of those people will likely comment on this video, and watch, I won’t respond to them. Unfortunately, when we encounter people who are so uneducated and inarticulate that deductive reasoning is beyond their capacity, we must concede to tolerate them. But, ideally, concordance is always preferable to tolerance.
People mistakenly think tolerance will lead to some sort of Utopian society where everybody gets along. This is a lie. In truth, tolerance leads to a society of repressed emotions. A world where rage and hatred exist just as much as always, only nobody ever talks about it. Nobody ever admits it. Because instead of rationally discussing things out in the open and learning to empathize with others, we have closed all the dialogs and buried that which we find offensive. A tolerant society is nothing but a timebomb waiting to unleash decades of suppressed animosity.
Tolerance is a nightmare and those who encourage it seek to undermine and destroy the camaraderie of mankind.
If people truly want to build genuine rapport between their fellow human beings they need to develop empathy. Understanding. Even compassion. Kinship will only exist when we begin nurturing a culture where people are sincerely accepting of others beliefs, not merely tolerating them.
Empathy is a hug. Tolerance is folded arms.
Since this time in our society has so many people preaching about tolerance, I just wanted to offer you a slightly different perspective to think about. Maybe we should be striving to care about each other instead of tolerating each other. Maybe tolerance is a disgusting idea. Maybe people should stop being tolerant. Maybe people should learn to speak their minds again. Maybe people should stop being afraid to disagree with each other. Maybe it’s okay to not like everybody or be accepting of everything. Maybe it’s okay for people to not like you. Maybe disagreeing with the way other people live doesn’t make you a bad person. Maybe you should be allowed to think other people are wrong. Maybe you don’t have to tolerate anybody. Maybe disapproving of people doesn’t mean you hate them. Maybe those who plead to be tolerated never need to be.