One recent Thanksgiving conversation with my uncles turned to desperately racist jokes. Always game for discussion, I called my uncle out on his joke. His response? “I’m the most tolerant person you’ll ever meet.” I’ve continued to think about his response and how, to him, being tolerant was enough.
If you want to build relationships that are structured to be rewarding in the long term, you’ll learn to be more than tolerant. You’ll learn to accept.
Tolerance has been tossed around a lot in recent years as political, religious, and racial groups discuss how others must tolerate differing agendas, beliefs, and cultures. But toleration brings with it the idea that what you’re tolerating is something inferior. You might tolerate a differing opinion, or you could accept it as an idea while choosing to disagree with it. See the difference? To illustrate: