There is an affliction haunting human beings throughout the world. Some refer to it as hatred. Some argue it has always been among us. Some proclaim that it will always be. Decades of reflection and numerous experiences of being “the hated”, as well as discovering the need to check my own ability to hate, I have come to the conclusion that we must go beyond tolerance.
Tolerance means that while you may hold differing opinions and beliefs you are graciously allowing others to do the same. And while that may look good in polite society it has done little to undermine the currents of hate promoted by faith leaders, political tyrants, and street gangs looking for triumph.
No, it is time we move beyond self-righteous tolerance. We must be willing to see in “the other” our own selves at every turn. It is time for our humanity to be championed. And with that comes the multi dimensional spectrum of diversity, which is the human condition and our human right. We are, each and every one of us, unique and special, a gift to be enjoyed.
We teach our children to fear the other and then confuse them with the notion of tolerance. Let us begin with the very real truth that has eluded us in our affliction; we are one people, one planet.
We wring our hands as we learn of each violent act of hate, but continue to participate in the very cultures that allow it to be. It is up to each of us, this reclamation of our humanity, this championing of the voice of clarity and the wisdom of peace.
No religion, clergy, political or charismatic leader will be able to save us from this moment of despair until we do this.
Go beyond tolerance.
Discover the splendor of being human.
Thanks to Meg Novick for the photo.