Tuesday, September 21, 2010

On Tolerance

"Tolerance" doesn't guarantee "acceptance" any more than "legal" guarantees "ethical." I see "tolerance" as a smile over gritted teeth, while "acceptance" is a relaxed smile and a nod. I see "tolerance" as a euphemism for "I'll pretend to like you if you pretend to like me." I see "acceptance" as a heartfelt "It's so nice to know you and learn from you."

To tolerate someone is to put up with them. To accept them is to connect with them.

We need to abandon "tolerance" as a loosely disguised term for politically correct civility; a phony, self-righteous word for people who wish to appear open-minded and loving to their fellow human beings; and an erroneous synonym for acceptance. We need to use words honestly.