Tolerance. The word has been thrown around a lot these past two weeks in America. Post-election America seems eerily similar to a city that just suffered a massive earthquake, cracked. It is hard to ignore the division right now and even harder to ignore the lack of tolerance and regard for one another. This election was a high voltage one from the start for many reasons but the main undertones seemed racial and gender bias. It was hard to watch and harder to fathom how a country which made such progress on equality issues over the last 8 years could fall into such divide.
Before my eyes I watched friendships dissolve, families draw battle lines and a nation pick sides with what seemed like no middle ground. I couldn’t help but ask myself, what happened to respecting another person’s opinion or agreeing to disagree? I’ve always believed in picking your battles but suddenly every view I’ve ever had seemed like one. People were accusing one another, throwing stones and downright destroying the character of people both stranger and friend. Tolerance I thought to myself, how can people be so intolerant to political views? If that was one lesson to take away from this mess it’s to be tolerant of your fellow human being.
Everyone around you lives a life, carries a burden or hides a scar you know nothing about but that doesn’t mean you can be insensitive to it. In a perfect world everyone would agree, everything would accommodate everyone but the world is not perfect, and neither are we. We can try though, to be more empathetic and more open minded to peoples sexual orientation, life choices, financial status or where they’ve come from because at the end of the day our graves are all the same size. If there is one thing I want to raise my daughter to be it’s tolerant, open minded and observant. If I can’t teach her to open her eyes to all that’s around her I’ve failed her and I’d also be setting someone who can’t empathize with others out into the world.
So this week I ask my readers to open their own eyes, open their hearts and most of all open their minds, because a closed mind is a dark one and dark minds lead to an even darker society. Look at the person next to you in class, on the subway or in line for Chipotle and realize they live a life that may be a complete 180 from your own, and that you’re not any better or any worse than them for it. We live in a vast and beautiful country, but we can’t all live beautifully so long as hate is still allowed to freely roam society. Let’s raise our children, lets teach our fellow human being lets BE the tolerance, the change and the hope we so desperately need to see in this nation today.