Friday, November 9, 2012

Political Change - Trying Tolerance

I've been watching all the political chaos and rhetoric intensify in the last month and I must say I’m really disheartened and disappointed with what I've witnessed.  I've seen a lot of mudslinging, name calling and belief bashing and this was NOT by the politicians.  Oh sure they did it,  but heck they’re politicians we expect them to sink to these kind of levels.   However, the people I noticed participating in these behaviors were friends and acquaintances  who are normally pretty intelligent,  tolerant people.  But get them involved in a conversation discussing some of the “hot topics”  this campaign stirred up and  I didn't even  recognize some of them.  There were several times I read my Twitter and FB  posts just to come away shaking my head shocked at the ugly tone and spirit I witnessed.   To be honest there are some people for whom I've really lost respect.  Instead of showing a spirit of tolerance and consideration a lot of people chose to be condemnatory,  judgmental, and downright vicious.  I  am  so relieved this campaign has come to a conclusion bringing with it  an end to all the intolerance and disrespectful judgments - or will it?  

What’s going to happen the NEXT time there’s a difference of opinion.   Is the person with the unpopular belief  going to be crucified  and hung out to dry by those that disagree with them?   Or if there’s a discussion with a particular political slant (whatever that may be)  are the people in the discussion going to attack and verbally eviscerate each other because they simply don’t hold the same values or ideals   I guess I’m confused because I THOUGHT that’s what all this outcry for equality for EVERYONE was about.  I thought it was about each of us showing tolerance for other people and ideas different than our own.   I haven’t seen a lot of tolerance from either political side. Yet when there was  some great “social” ceiling broken through, everyone wanted  to celebrate and raise their glasses to the underdog.  Which is confusing because when less popular or “politically correct” topics were discussed there wasn't  a lot of  tolerance shown.  But let’s change that.  

The next time when a discussion ensues we can  remember to ask ourselves if  we are  expressing ourselves in a manner that is respectful and  in a  way we would want someone to discuss an issue with us.   Are we disagreeing with the idea or are we showing contempt for the person’s belief?   If it’s the later,  then a lesson in tolerance is definitely needed.  To be honest  I’m sure we could all stand to have a refresher course.  

*Tolerance vs. Prejudice

 Accepting others at different levels of maturity

*The "I Wills" of Tolerance

  • I will not confuse what is right with what is popular
  • I will expect the same of myself as I expect of others
  • I will look for ways to help others mature
  • I will accept my own unchangeables and the unchangeables of others
  • I will listen before I form an opinion

* From Character First a wonderful program that teaches the importance of being a person of good character.