In Our Diverse Communities, We All Need to Practice Tolerance

reg430 By reg430, 2nd Oct 2014 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Society & Issues

Diversity is a popular yet important element in all aspects of American society. Diversity covers all aspects of race relations, politics, all school and university settings, religious beliefs, tastes in culture, including art, music, and literature. And because our society is diverse, all Americans have to be tolerant of all things and people we encounter.

Examples of Diversity

While sitting in my car, waiting for the traffic light to change, a man pulled up in a black pickup; he was playing metal; a second gentleman pulled up in a black car; he was playing rhythm and blues; he, like the first guy, wasn’t playing the music loudly. Then came the third guy. He was playing Latin music. None of the guys were blasting their music and each was obviously enjoying his choice in style of music. I had to smile because just sitting here at the traffic light, the rest of us in our own cars got a taste of American diversity.

Workplace Diversity

In our workplaces we are told we must be tolerant of anyone who is not like us. This in itself is ironic because there isn’t just one type that everyone else must be like. And I never liked the notion of being tolerant because if you really think about it, it is an insult. One connotative meaning of the word tolerance suggests a person has to put up with something or someone. I wouldn’t want to know someone is beside me, smiling even though he doesn’t like me or what I am doing or stand for. I don’t want to know that he is beside me because he has been advised to put up with me.

Diversity in Beliefs

Diversity requires an open mind and understanding. For example, my daughter, before graduating from UCSD, worked in the university bookstore for about three years. I especially liked visiting her while she was working because of my over consuming love of books. The first Christmas she worked there, management played all types of Christmas songs. During the second Christmas, songs like “O Holy Night” and “Silent Night” were absent. I immediately noticed and asked my daughter why. She informed me that a couple of students had complained, and management had stopped playing traditional Christmas songs to make everyone happy.

Tolerance is Needed

For some, this action could be taken as an insult, but for those who want to be above the petty arguments, all we can do is smile, square our shoulders, and remember the true purpose for and meaning of tolerance.

Tags

Different Types, Diversity, Tolerance

Meet the author

author avatar reg430
I have been involved in writing since earning my M.A. in English/Creative Writing over 20 years ago. Most of my work, though, has been in the classroom, helping others better their writing.

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Comments

author avatar Retired
3rd Oct 2014 (#)

My nearest city - Leicester - is a very tolerant place as well being extremely mixed in terms of cultures and religions - we've got the lot!

Tolerance is shown by the fact that all religious festivals are observed and nobody objects because their turn will come along later. People are happy to join in each others' celebrations.

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author avatar reg430
3rd Oct 2014 (#)

John: It is all about sharing, isn't it? Sharing and enjoying what everyone else brings to the table.

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author avatar Retired
3rd Oct 2014 (#)

Yeah ... tolerance shouldn't be felt or taken so much as putting up with but more like accepting and sharing.
Here, in the states, we can see great strides in acceptance in some venues ... but then again, in others, we still have the redneck mentality. And what tolerance means for me is that, in spite of the fact that rednecks won't always tolerate me, I tolerate them.

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author avatar reg430
3rd Oct 2014 (#)

Yes, we have to tolerate everyone and accept who and what they are. It is equally important to remember that the U.S. is supposed to be a melting pot - the blending as what happens in a a pot of stew: each ingredient blending into the base and adding more flavor.

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