COLUMN: I don’t want to be tolerated

There is a big difference between accepting something and tolerating it

I often hear of people trying to teach tolerance as a way to make the world a better place.

Personally, I can’t stand the word “tolerance” and honestly, I sure hope no one ever has to “tolerate” me.

Do you know what I would like? To be accepted. There is a big difference between accepting something and tolerating it. I see acceptance as keeping an open mind, trying to bridge some understanding.

We all know tolerance really means, “I still don’t like you. I will never like you, but since you have to be here, I am going to glare at you.”

If we want to make this world a better place, we should start working on accepting, not tolerating. As far as I am concerned, tolerating is still enabling people to hate.

Canada is a pretty awesome multicultural mosaic of people. Spreading hatred or tolerance to any specific group of people would be similar to only using one or two crayons, leaving the remaining 62 vibrant colours untouched in the box.

We can accept people, communities and ideas.

If a new regional sewage plant is built, would it better for people to accept it or tolerate it?

When something is in proposal mode it’s good to stand your ground and fight for what you believe in. But when something is a done deal, maybe it’s best to all collectively accept it.

It’s not about being submissive or not speaking out. I think acceptance is a mind set, not a behaviour.

At this point everyone should be speaking up about the Enbridge Northern Gateway project. I do mean everyone, whether you are for or against it. Now is the time to voice your concern or your support.

A lot of the time people miss the mark. The time to talk is when government officials are making the decisions. And in the end, we’ll all have to accept the outcome, so you might as well have your voice counted.

I have been to dozens of public hearings where I have sat with a handful of other people. Then later, when the bylaw passes, I hear all sorts of people complaining out in the community.

In that case, I think people need to accept the result, if they were too lazy to go to a council meeting and speak their thoughts.

When it comes to deer, I’ve accepted it. When I open my blinds and see deer munching on my bushes, I give the deer a friendly wave and say good morning through the glass.

My community garden is surrounded by deer fencing with a secure gate, because us gardeners have accepted that without it, the deer would eat the veggies. The other option would be tolerating them eating the food.

When I catch myself thinking ill of someone or something, I try to remember to stop myself and assess why I am thinking that way. Often it’s my own preconceptions that make me think negatively.

If you had a special needs child who required some extra assistance in the classroom, would you want their teacher to accept them or tolerate them?

I understand that there are plenty of things that may be tough to accept, such as a sex offender living on your street, or even Scotch broom.

Sorry folks, I have a soft spot for the plant.

Anyway, back to point. The holidays are over and we are getting back into the swing of things.

Maybe now could be the time to look at the things in your community that you have been tolerating and find it in your heart to accept them instead.

Whichever route you go, I’ll accept that.

Charla Huber is a reporter for the Goldstream News Gazette.

charla@goldstreamgazette.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Greater Victoria Public Library offers new online resource service to cardholders

Friends of the Library provided funding for the service

VIDEO: Internet famous Yukon-based bhangra dancer explores Vancouver Island

Gurdeep Pandher spreads joy through dance, forms cross-cultural connections amid pandemic

Avoid giving dogs ice cubes, says Greater Victoria vet

Tips for keeping dogs cool and safe this summer

Hungry Hearts Gala goes virtual with new mac and cheese competition

Results will be announced on Facebook live stream event

GVPL staggers reopening of three more branches in Oak Bay, Saanich and Victoria

More Greater Victoria Library branches to reopen in August

53 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths cap off week of high infection rates in B.C.

Roughly 1,500 people are self-isolating because they either have COVID-19 or have been exposed to it

Unofficial holidays: the weird and wonderful things people celebrate around the world

On any given day of the year, there are several strange, silly or serious holidays to observe

Missing teen visiting Courtenay found safe

She had last been seen going for a walk on Aug. 6

Moving on: Tanev scores 11 seconds into OT as Canucks oust Wild

Vancouver beats Minnesota 5-4 to move into first round of NHL playoffs

Fitness non-profit challenges citizens to invent a game to be physically active

The campaign was launched after a study showed only 4.8 per cent of children and youths in Canada met required standards of the 24-hour movement guidelines

Gene editing debate takes root with organic broccoli, new UBC research shows

Broccoli is one of the best-known vegetables with origins in this scientific haze

VIDEO: U.S. Air Force pilot does fly-by for B.C. son amid COVID border separation

Sky-high father-son visit plays out over White Rock Pier

3 Vancouver police officers test positive for COVID after responding to large party

Union president says other officers are self-isolating due to possible exposure

Vancouver Island team takes on wacky challenges of world’s largest scavenger hunt

Greatest International Scavenger Hunt taking place Aug. 1-8

Most Read