I can tolerate you in three ways

By Dwight Collins | Nov 19, 2015

Camden — Merriam-Webster defines tolerance in three ways. The capacity to endure pain or hardship; sympathy of indulgence for beliefs or practices differing from or conflicting with one's own; or the act of allowing something.

I tolerate things everyday — rude people, unruly kids, angry pets and most of all stupidity. I am amazed at the amount of stupidity I run into on a regular basis and just let it go. I hit all three definitions with these ones. I endure the pain and hardship of listening to the uneducated talk about the unimportant, however I sympathize with the fact that they are not wired like I am...and finally, I allow them to continue. I have now reached the trifecta of tolerance.

Hysteria is caused by hate and ignorance. Terrorists today are getting exactly what they set out to do and I do not tolerate that. I believe in religious tolerance and that there is a radical aspect to anything and everything. Are radical Muslims any different than radical Christians? To Christians, I believe they do see a difference, as do their counterparts, however they do not practice tolerance.

There are somethings I have no tolerance for — attacks on defenseless women and children for example. There is no excuse and as a human being with freewill, I choose to exercise my God-given right to not accept it.

I have come across many people in my line of work that are for lack of a better term — ignorant. Not because their overall IQ is poor, moreover, the fact that they use little information to base an opinion. In a lot of cases, it is born in hate and the fear of the unknown. The unknown is scary and people tend to revert to their natural fight or flight response. One thing is for sure, no one knows what that looks like until it happens in front of you.

I know a man in his 70s that is very conservative, Archie Bunker-like in his views of different ethnic backgrounds and which are largely based on stereotypes. Conversations with him cannot include politics or religion because he has never seen anything but the Midcoast of Maine and has never wanted to experience anything more than that.

I can tolerate his views because I know where they are coming from, a lack of knowledge of what the bigger world view shows. As long as there has been recorded history, wars have been fought over intolerance. The Nazi's intolerance to Jews caused a wave of refugees to leave Europe and find tolerance in America. Fast-forward to today, states are wanting to close borders to refugees to eliminate the chance of terrorists entering the United States. News flash, if they want to get into the United States bad enough, they will find a way.

We all have degrees of things we will tolerate. A slow cashier at the grocery store, a rude waitress at a restaurant, a policeman writing a ticket because we broke the law or our kids screaming because their little sister is kicking them. Nevertheless, to tolerate these things are ultimately a choice and at the end of the day I tolerate the things that if I were to die tomorrow, they wouldn't make a difference.

Find the three ways to tolerate, one of them will give you peace that the uninformed will one day see the light.

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