Tolerance, not acceptance, leads to communication, change
Re: I don’t want to be tolerated (Column, Jan. 4)
I see that Charla Huber’s piece was “written in ink.” I hope she doesn’t really believe that status quo should be carved in stone.
Her definition of tolerance is way off-mark and the suggestion we should simply accept things with which we do not agree is crass.
The claim that “tolerating is still enabling people to hate,” ignores completely that it is tolerance, rather than acceptance, which enables communication and change.
Furthermore, she is wrong to suggest that acceptance is everything “if we want to make this world a better place.” History tells the lie to that.
For example, did transported slaves in America, the French proletariat or the downtrodden British working class give up hope of freedom or justice and simply accept the overwhelming “done deals” that ruled their lives?
If they had, where would democracy be now in those countries?
Rather, it was their tolerance, until the time was right, that made change possible for them. The same is true of Eastern Europe and the Middle East, where although people have had to tolerate evil rule, they have never accepted it just because the odds were stacked against them.
Some of Ms. Huber’s examples are too frivolous for comment (where boxes of crayons, bush-eating deer and Scotch broom come into all this is totally beyond me), but she should be reminded that in the classroom, tolerance and acceptance of every individual student’s needs, whether easy or difficult, are dealt with every day as an integral part of good teaching practice.
Sorry Ms. Huber, although I can tolerate your right to the opinion, I cannot accept that “tolerance” is the poor cousin of “acceptance.” Their relationship has always been, and will forever remain, much closer and interdependent than that.