Monday, February 25, 2013

What Ever Happened To ... Part II

What ever happened to TOLERANCE.  According to the Webster's dictionary tolerance is defined as "freedom from prejudice; ability to bear hardship; allowance for variation; resistance."  Yet we have become a nation of intolerance on so many levels. 

We demonize illegal immigrants when in fact all of our ancestors were illegal prior to the establishment of the United States of America.  Many of them braved the same type of hardships to come to this country to try and establish a better way of life.  Once the United States was established they and their descendants became citizens of this country.  That is not to condone those who have been here for many, many years; have never attempted to become a citizen; or learn our language.  However, tolerance of them and consideration should be given.

We belittle and disregard those who do not worship as we do.  The last time I checked the only country that has a national religion is the Vatican, which is Catholic.  The Queen of England is the head of the Church of England but I am not sure it is the national religion.  Religious tolerance was the reason for the immigration of many of our ancestors.  They were prosecuted in their native countries and came here to escape and worship as they pleased. 

We totally disregard, belittle, verbally attack and sometimes physically attack anyone who does not hold the same political views that we do.  If everyone voted the same way it would be very boring and stagnant.  Our ability to elect political representatives on a regular basis ensures that we will have access to fresh ideas and keep our country moving forward.  Unfortunately, money has also insured that the interests of a few supercede the interests of the populace.

As a young person I was intolerant of many people and ideas because they did not mesh with what my parents believed or what I was taught.  As I have grown older, I find that many of those ideas no longer fit either who I am now or the world I live in.  There are still things that I find intolerable; abuse of the elderly, children, animals, spouses; pollution of our air, water and other natural resources; hunger.  In this day and age these are not new but they are increasing and should not be.

Each person needs to look inside themselves and truthfully ask and answer what they are intolerant of and why.  The answers may surprise you and they did me.