I found myself in a conversation this week about society, and how, even in my lifetime, while much has changed, a lot still remains the same… I remembered this conversation with a friend from several years ago, and the poem I wrote about it…
The Intolerance of Tolerance?
By the sea with my friend.
comfort, open safe conversation.
Speaking about our youth,
“I only knew people like me…
With my kids I learned tolerance…”
“I don’t like that word” she says
It’s like putting up with someone,
Tolerating their negativity,
Who are we to tolerate?”
Yes. She’s right.
How did I always miss that before?
If we see it that way…
There are so many differences.
Black, Gay, Muslim, Jew
Different clothes, Different culture,
How much can we put up with, after all??
Of course we hit our
Tolerance, for all that tolerance.
We need a new word.
Is it an answer to the world’s pain?
another word for Universal Love?
And I can’t help but wonder if a subtle change in our mindset from “tolerating” to acceptance and even love (kind of like we would do if the ‘difference’ was a person in our own family) might have a powerful impact. Have we simply been using the wrong word??