Conversations with Mom – Life’s Lessons

There are so many things we learn and live by from our parents.  And from Mom, she gave me her 5 most valuable beliefs about people and life.

In my case, it was my mother who shared her thoughts with me because I’ve only ever had one conversation with my father before I was 45 years old (the ‘condom’ talk) – so Mom was my teacher.

I had many embarrassing convos with Mom (some I won’t share, lol), but other than those, Mom sprinkled her wisdom into my life in many different ways over many, many years.

What I loved most about Mom:

She was a straight-shooter and to the point, so I knew if I wanted to know ‘the way it is’, she was the one to go and get advice. She didn’t mess around with muddying up the lesson with emotional drama or excuses – like I said – just like an unpire (and she loooooooved baseball – Go Jays!).

A point about her opinions and parenting: when I say ‘the way it is’, I am referring to her existential way of looking at life.  She wasn’t an emotional person (and she passed that down to me, drats!), and I think she saw the fakery and illusion life can dish out.  She didn’t say ‘the way I see it‘ or some other attachment, she ‘gave it to me straight’.  There was a strange humility about her because she never really acknowledged her wisdom because she was never aware of her own expertise based on her personal Life Lessons.

She once said to me (as she said to many) as she gave her opinion on her racism (and she was proud of her humour in it):

“I’m not a racist, I hate everyone equally!”

Anyways, back to my point of this post.

She was cynical about life too.  She learned, saw, and did enough living in the big city (Toronto, Canada) to get a taste of everything urban life can offer.  Like most others around her (especially her friends), they were of the same general opinion about life.

Personally, I think some people liked being around her because she spoke for them – for their frustrations, venting, saying something when it needed to be said.  Like I said earlier – she is a straight-shooter, and (like I picked up from her) she didn’t care who the person was thay may have been doing something that wasn’t Ethical, Legal, or Moral – she was going to say something.  She had a saying for it, but I’m getting too old to remember it now, lol.

trelaske_woods

5 FACTS OF LIFE
I LEARNED FROM MOM

_____________________

1 – Everybody WANTS something.

  • She was the one who gave me my first “Sales” training.  She didn’t know it; but in sales, they call it “WII-FM” (no, not a radio station). That acronym stands for “What’s In It For Me”.
  • That’s why marketers are very good at having our average family debt currently at about 165% of income.

2 – Most (if not all) people have ‘something going on’.

  • Mom saw this cynical side of people a hundred times over.  For example, I remember her telling me about all the things she saw at “Maple Leaf Gardens” which was rotten, in her opinion “from Harold Ballard all the way to the basement”.  But she loved working at the former Toronto shrine at Carlton and Church.
  • In her own many travels and adventures she shared with me, she explained how reciprocation worked and the role it played in life.  She practiced it even at home (though we kids weren’t cognizant at the time) – and it was always a reason not to trust someone.
  • The scheming of  ‘something going on’ is the need for a return of the effort/favour/thing you bestowed upon another. A lot of the time, it was an unspoken and understood way of being towards expectations in others.

3 – Everyone looks for the easy way.

  • “People tend to be lazy and they don’t expect much from you.  Put the extra effort in and you could do anything.”
  • She held those views in another rational explanation into why it was easy to impress others (“baffle them with your brilliance or boggle them with your bullshit”).
  • Don’t become THEM.  “Keep working harder – this mark of ‘A’ is not enough – I want an A+!”

4 – Everybody is afraid.

  • If you looked up the word “persistence” in the dictionary, you would see a picture of Mom next to it.
  • Mom knew that everyone was afraid of losing something (a personal thing).  She used threats against systems, businesses, relationships, and every other part of her life where she may have felt oppressed, experiencing a threat to her dignity, and/or finances.
  • In large conflicts with systems and businesses, she often won her issue on the basis that she knew how to fight the battle.
  • Fear plays a big role in life – that’s what I was taught – just not in those words or as eloquent.

5 – Everybody NEEDS something.

  • Mom believed, for the most part, that we are all in this huge struggle – and we are all in it together. If she was political, she’d probably be a NDPer (the left in Canada) or a Democrat (in America).
  • Not only in her life-long critcal battle with health issues (emphasema killed her), she realized that was small compared to the massive number of needs everybody has.
  • She weighed much of her opinion of friendship and other relationships on need. Not overt – but still there.
  • Funny thing – she knew Maslow’s Theory and yet she never studied him or heard of his Needs hierarchy.

Values & Beliefs: The “ELM Test” of Integrity

Our integrity is all we’ve got.  It’s “our word”, a handshake”, a promise”, “showing up”, and many other acts we perform in our daily lives.

Because of this, our personal integrity is what we are measured against – and the most revealing of who we are being in that relationship.

We see it in the stories ordrama of our lives.  The Grey in our black and white world.

***

IntegrityWhenever I consider the actions of myself/others, I have this tendency to measure (judge) the motivations behind those decisions/actions.

Of course, I’m not talking about decisions to do everyday sort of things; rather, I’m talking about decisions/actions that make a relative difference in my life – especially when it comes to business with others.  I’ll explain further as we go along.

So, what is this “ELM Test” and how is it used, you ask?

ELM is an acronym for:

  • Ethical

  • Legal

  • Moral

Ethical:  working in accordance with fulfilling the principles of right or wrong (especially within a profession).

Legal:  a statutory obligation to exercising the principles of right or wrong.

Moral:  an individual conscious decision as a human being to live the principles of right or wrong.

***

The process when I use this is not only for my own behaviours, but also that of others in my ‘official’ or business relationships.

Personal relationships do not usually need the Test because they don’t involve legal or ethical questions, only the question of morality.  Of course, I wouldn’t want to chill with a Ponzi schemer or a wife-beater – that crosses the line for me.

The way in which I use this test is by questioning the motivation or logic behind my (our) decisions before I decide to take action.  By doing so, it keeps my integrity in check and lets me gauge my sincerity behind my actions.  (I am always learning about myself, too!  Ackkkkkkkk!)

.

If I profess to love people,
I better be ‘walking the walk
instead of just ‘talking the talk, right?

.

Now let me digress just a little (my little humanistic caveat).  I am by no means implying that I am this walking edifice of righteous indignation – not like I was 15 years ago when I was the top of my capitalist game.  Heck NO!  I am human too.

Like you, my dear reader, I make mistakes – and some of them intentionally.  That’s what we do sometimes.  Sometimes out of fear, sometimes out of ignorance, and sometimes out of spite.

.

Yup, we are always stretching the boundaries
of our moral compass – right?

And stuff will happen.  But …

***

When I enter a relationship, I feel I have an obligation to follow the ELM Test in order to ensure the best outcomes can be reached.  In other words – to get what I want.  There are many benefits:

  • it maintains a measure of respect and dignity for each other,

  • it allows us to know the boundaries of acceptable decisions/actions, and

  • it fertilizes the trust that is required for each other to be effective in the decisions/actions.

***

Here’s an example of how I recently employed the ELM Test:

I was recently looking for a job, and I wanted to work in a community organization doing outreach and providing support services like resume writing.  I found several opportunities (at least for summer work) that piqued my interest, so I applied.  Most replied and I went on a few interviews.

Keeping in mind that interviews are a good place and time to find out more about the agency as well.  I always want to ensure the agency is a good fit for me as well.  I always come prepared with questions for the interviewer as well as have word prompts to help me remember to make and note specific observations within the agency as it operates day-to-day.

I didn’t get a job.

I guess I could have been a little easier on my judgment of the agencies; yet, I wanted to work somewhere that was actually making some kind of difference.

After employing the ELM Test when deciding on these job opportunities, this is what I saw and determined from one of most obvious failures:

This agency’s main focus is to offer daily meals and snacks to feed the hungry, have a space to drop-in, and have access to free computers and telephone. The typical user is homeless, poor, hungry, speaks another language, men, recently landed, and between 30 and 50 years old.  The programs they offer are creative writing, painting, resume writing, how to find work, and how to write a cover letter to name a few.

FAIL ELM TEST
_______________

They failed their Ethical obligation to know the needs of the services users and offer them the programs and services they need.

To walk into the agency – and even to the untrained eye, it is obvious the service users are not in a position of using the above-mentioned services offered.  Besides language barriers, literacy is an issue.  Many are homeless and less-skilled.  Most were older men.

They failed their Legal obligation to use public funding to provide services according to the requirements from official needs assessments.

To hire staff to fill an agency need for funding does not give us value for the money we invest in human potential.  I witnessed a lot of casual conversations between staff (not with service users – they watch TV – in Spanish).

When the time came to offer the services, an announcement is made, a sheet of paper is checked, and the facilitator then goes back to the conversation at the front desk.

They failed their Moral obligation to reach into the lives of their service users and find out what they need and want to develop themselves as “productive citizens”.

Again, even to the untrained eye, it is obvious they are employed by the agency just to have a job.

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Granted, government funding makes it impossible to find qualified staff because of funding restrictions; but at least those that do work at the agency must have some sense of compassion, integrity, or desire to help others genuinely in need The staff were just floating around looking busy, but really – they were not accomplishing much more than feeding the neighbourhood.

Given this is their main intention, they would be a better agency that address the main issues that confront the services so they indeed do make a difference – as intended!

Needless to say, I ran away from that agency.

***

I couldn’t honestly work for someone who is just playing the game of life.  I don’t want to just fill a hole – I want to make a difference in my little corner of the world.  From the results of their decisions and the actions the staff were taking, my observations compelled me to make a critical decision from this question:

Do I take the job and try to make changes from the inside,
or do I walk away and pick an issue where
I can invest my time and resources into something
that will actually achieve a difference?

I had to keep my personal goals in the social struggle in perspective – and I had to invest in my emotional balance, so I chose to walk away.

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Updated from 2009

What Prevents Us From Getting Along With EVERYONE?

If there is a secret to living the life to which I aspire, then it’s got to be in how I relate to the world, to the people in and around my life, and to my self.

I have to be able to deal with the conflicts that come with those relationships in a healthy and effective way that empowers all parties.  There can’t be any other way.

Getting along with others has always been a constant and major topic of discussion in the world.  What I don’t fully understand is how we all know the significance of relationships in life; and yet, somehow we tend to casually (or fearfully?) overlook the critical impact they have on our ability to experience many moments of true joy, happiness, and freedom EVERY SINGLE DAY – regardless of our station in life at any given time.

I hear you chuckling in the background as you read again the above statement. True Joy? Happiness? Freedom? EVERY DAY???????

Got you wondering what new meds I am on now, or if there’s a great strain going around the neighbourhood?  Regardless of your musings, I can honestly assert – I truly and honestly experience a certain amount of zen most days. It is possible.

***

After years of experimentation and study, I’m testing a conclusion:

Any level of achievement or happiness in my life lies in every single relationship (and their meanings) and how I live and respond within them.

From a very young age, we learn to understand our relationships with different people come in many different forms on different levels.  We learn, even in early childhood, how important and complex they can be – and we even exercise it early and often.  (Do you remember, huh?)

***

I figure the meaning and level of relationship is

based on their expectations which is

based on their values and beliefs which is

based on their previous experiences which is

based on their secret memories which is

based on their private fears.

 

THIS IS THE SAME FOR ME, AS IT IS FOR YOU
and EVERYONE ELSE.

We are all the same.

 

AND, this is where conflict lurks in relationships, because it is all STORY made up in our minds and we have certain expectations on how the relationship should be.  The reactions from those stories lead to conflict because they come from the past; and for the most part, we are all convinced WE hold the TRUTH – regardless of who you are!

***

Fortunately, distinguishing how we are “being” in our relationships are not that complex to sort out; actually, it’s rather easy with a little time, some focus, and personal honesty with our self.

The best news >>>

How we deal with those relationships (the “doing”) and the conflicts that come with them are even easier still to rectify.  All it takes is a little time, some focus, and personal honesty with our self. (Sound familiar?)

Regardless of all the talk, the expert advice, and eons of knowledge we have we’ve gathered and shared about human relationships, we still don’t get it.  Proof of that is found in the exploding industry of therapy, self-help, building esteem, motivation, etc.

Yet, with all this knowledge and activity, the world still experiences violence against humans.  It’s very obvious:

We still don’t understand how to relate to each other.

Do we really want to understand?

 

We’ve learned from the world and everything around us (and from our own personal trials and errors) that there is no way we can survive in any way on our own.  There is evidence all around us that gives validity to the importance of relationships – regardless of all it’s baggage and drama.

We are constantly bombarded with the message thatthere is a better way to treat othersin religion, business, media, politicians, and social sciences among others.

To empower people, industries like film and television create stories on how people overcome their conflicts in human relationships.  The actual story issue is not that important – it’s usually how the characters act and react towards each other.  The character depth is always important in any story and we know we are interested in how others are ‘being’ under certain circumstances.  The hero always is a relationship-builder.

And STILL, we struggle.

Is the fear that crushing?

Relating with others is the most common occurrence we experience – and we still don’t get it.  Even with the knowledge that there is no way we can survive in any way on our own without these relationships – THE MOST CRITICAL PART OF MAINTAINING OUR SPECIES and our futures.

Regardless of the level of relationship we have with someone, just the fact that we’ve crossed paths with each other creates a RELATING OPPORTUNITY for us each of us to express ourselves – and it happens ALL the time.

***

Let’s look at these relationships

(for each of us, the categories have different levels of priority, so the following list is not rated):

(Please remember, these are only my observations and experiences I had over many years. This is not the truth.)
  • Family: eg: siblings, parents, extended families …

    • Blood is NOT “thicker than water”.
    • A long history in the relationship has a tendency to create long-term (and unspoken) grievances
    • The deepest form of Love and connection – creates emotions with the deepest crevasses and the highest peaks
    • Not relationships that are necessarily wanted – by default
    • Different shared memories from growing up together
    • Not based on common interests
  • Friends: eg: childhood, hobbies, volunteering, school, recreation, lovers …

    • Based on common interests with different levels of commitment
    • WANT to be together with each other due to similar wants and needs
    • Can end the relationship at any time without repercussion
    • The more often together, the deeper the relationship
  • Business and Professional: eg: co-workers, superiors, subs, customers …

    • Based on career/job status
    • Plays a role in each other’s lives
    • Can be long-term if carried beyond working relationship
    • Can have deeper implications on life due to type of relationship
    • Other than those types which are equal, relationship can be manipulative (and vicious)
    • Usually, based on fulfilling own personal needs/wants
    • Can end suddenly with termination of work relationship
  • Life Partners: eg: committed monogamous relationship …

    • Can be the most gratifying relationships we ever have
    • Very personal and deep with knowledge of partner’s secrets and fears
  • Miscellaneous Acquaintances: eg: people on street, local shops, neighbours, services …

    • Usually transient
    • Nothing at risk in the relationship – easy choice to maintain or end
    • Not too personal
    • Not based of knowledge of each
    • Develops over a long period of time
***

So many of us have a difficult time with relationships.  For a lot of us, when we enter into a relationship, we don’t know what we are getting into, and as a result, it is this void which creates the possibilities of conflict.  We have expectations.

Part of that is due to the way we see life in general; part is due to what we’ve learned about people; and part is due to our own insecurities we learned over the years about our own inabilities to have a healthy relationship (negative-based thinking).

***

Here are my general assumptions about relationships:

1

We have to accept that we are forced
to be in relationships with people.
We have no choice.

I am experimenting with this concept; so at this point, I place my trust and belief in this assertion.  As I go through my day, I keep in the back of my mind this assumption and see how I think and relate to people I meet on the street – both familiar and strangers.

2

If we don’t have ups and downs in our relationships,
then there is probably something not working.

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Given we know that all relationships will have ‘ups and downs’ and ‘ins and outs’ as it develops over the years, we can count on a few conflicts to sprinkle over the growth; and it is absolutely normal.  Again, this is a good sign that the relationship may be waning and suffering in silence.

***

As the world is today, we know there are good people, not so good people, and downright evil people.  Because we know this (and the evidence is shown to us at 6 and 11 nightly), a good many of us realize that with all the pain and suffering perpetrated by these people, it is difficult to keep a level head when determining (in our head) what to do when someone wrongs us.

***

Why do we have difficulty getting along?
Do we want to?

We have a set of social norms (or rules) from which we play.  Acknowledged or not, they are always based on LAW, ETHICS, MORALS, and INTEGRITY.  These rules give us guidelines on what is socially acceptable in any given culture (family, local, urban, national, etc).

We learn these rules from EVERYTHING WE LEARN and EXPERIENCE.  The rules are complex, without limit, transient, specific to person, place, and thing, always changing, always created, hidden, and not usually talked about (unless in bad taste or academia).

I have an assumption why relationships fail:

There are many ways to get along with each other; but at the end of the day, we either feel like an imposter, secretly remain angry, or we don’t feel vindicated.

Here is a list of some of the ways we have been taught to deal with difficult people/situations in a healthy and respectful way (Remember, they are based on our backgrounds):

  • Forgiveness

  • Giving in/up

  • Tolerance

  • Indignation

  • Conflict Escalation

Sadly, for those same eons we’ve know about the richness of great relationships, we’ve also failed at effectively dealing with conflict big and small.

***

For part two in the next post, we will look at issues of HOW we are reacting in those relationships and what we can do to eliminate the conflict.

***

You will be amazed how easy (and non-labour intensive) it is
to understand how create empowering relationships,

even with people that are unlikeable,
those we don’t much trust, and
people who’s lost our respect

without the games and general feeling of disempowerment.

 

Values & Beliefs: Humanism As A Religion?

I read an article on the American Humanist Association blog “Brainstormin” about God coming to Earth and finally showing himself to humankind.

I was really confused how the conversation centred around
how atheists and believers (religious people) would have quite a go.

I didn’t quite understand all the rukus about someone else’s beliefs – especially since we Humanists tend to not bother with those kind of problems and just love people regardless.  Anyway, the following is my response to the article (and some other people’s comments):

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As a recent self-discovered Humanist, I am confused.  I am (and always have forever been) a lover of people – regardless of who they are.  I almost get a sense there is a bigger question (with very interesting answers) this article brings that may need to be addressed – if we truly are Humanists.

Keep in mind that, as mentioned, I recently discovered my philosophical leanings towards Humanism; so I may raise a very basic ‘tenet’ of Humanism. For the past 30 years, I had always considered myself exclusively an Existentialist (without knowing it) operating in the world as a lapsed Catholic using all the good parts of Christianity without believing the magic.  I have worked in several industries, including government and the military; and I always found myself coming back to social and human services.

***

My most recent college studies as a community developer, I found Humanism; and I realized I had a philosophy with which I could identify and consider part of my ‘belief system’.  And what made Humanism even better was the implicit understanding that we love and believe in each other as human beings – regardless of our personal foibles, problems, and ways of expressing ourselves.

The more I am cognitively aware of my Humanistic practices in my everyday doings and beings, the more I realize how difficult it is to live the philosophy.  I sometimes have a private chuckle to myself when I make the comparison between Christianity and Humanism in my daily activities.  When I am doing something easy (such as being friendly to someone I want to speak with), I congratulate myself for my Humanism and openness with others.  When it is a difficult decision (such as choosing not to speak with someone because they have a shady past), I catalogue it under my former Christianity because I could easily excuse it for some kind of reason – any reason that sounds plausible intellectually.

Yet, in my Humanism, I feel empty.

          I have come to understand that as a Humanist, we love people.  Regardless of ugliness of humanity we are fed every day (media, entertainment, etc) and conditioned to accept as the default behaviour of people as a whole, I always thought we moved beyond the noise of civilization and stayed focused on what mattered – people and life and living and loving – without conditions.

So please forgive my ignorance for the following questions:

Why are we concerned with “what” others believe in?

Wouldn’t it be more fruitful and in line with our Humanism to try and understand what it is about the magic of religion that have them believe in the unbelievable?

When I think about the above scenario, my first thought is “so what?”.  I am not going to go gaga over a spiritual being who has a reputation of being all powerful and loving yet lets the world go to hell.  If anything, I would question his motives.  My second thought would be to try and figure out how to persuade him/her (if in human form) to cure the human physical illnesses of the world as the first priority.  The pain and suffering of cancers, etc are truly ‘ungod-like’ and sinister.

The next, and most important thought I would have, is to be in dialogue with God to have her/him convince the world of how organized religion has ruined his/her intentions in giving us this ‘love moral’.  The God would convince the world that S/he is actually a Humanist and used that philosophy as the blueprint and purpose of all Humanity from the outset

S/he would have to convince the world that when religion became organized (because the founding leaders discovered the power of belief), it became bastardized.  As soon as the human frailty, paternalism, and powerlessness emerging civilizations got added, the goals and results of their teachings became part of the problem of civilization – not the solution.  Hence, we have different religions that all purport to have the answers with ‘their’ solutions.  Sad, isn’t it?

As I said above, religion IS a Humanism.

Only when it is used as a religious practice does it become skewed because it takes the focus away from loving and praising all there is that another human can offer to focusing on worshipping ancient objects and metaphors that were meant for teaching purposes only.

I stay away from religion as a belief system, but it doesn’t mean I stay away from the people who worship Gods.  Heck, I sing in a church choir (and not even from the denomination of my past) for the sole purpose of singing. I don’t participate in the service.  I just love singing.  I like the people because they love singing too.

To end this diatribe, I would ask this:

As Humanists, can we forget about the noise of what people are doing and just love them?

Can we get beyond dealing with the results of actions and focus on the causes?

Values & Beliefs: Why Tolerance is NOT Acceptable

Can somebody be given the power to choose who/what is tolerable and who/what isn’t?

If you think ‘yes’, then you need to read this post and see if you are missing some information about Tolerance.

 If your answer is ‘no’, then we probably have a lot in common regarding how tolerance is perceived and used in society.  I haven’t heard a call for Tolerance in some time, so maybe it is gone out of fashion and out of acceptability by the masses.

The way is in my experiences and learnings are explained on how I see Tolerance and why it is not acceptable.

There are some who hail Tolerance as an optional path towards unity and human happiness.  The fact that someone would still use this thought pattern has his head so far up his own butt (yes, I specifically refer to ‘his’) that he deserves the misery he inflicts upon himself.  Yet, some people think it is okay.  How this can be accepted is quite confusing, and it has me question my interpretation of Tolerance as it is viewed by societies at large.  It begs me to ask:

What the Heck is Tolerance?

***

Through my life experiences (even though I am a white guy in a white racist society), I have been on the receiving end of Tolerance.  If you can relate to the experience, then you know it is something that is felt more than said.  Of course, when it is said, it is usually done in a joking way or an aside comment.  Here’s an example of one of my recent experiences in college:

I was tutoring a student with visual impairment.  We went to the college library to book a room.  The ‘system’ of the college took precedence over common sense; so when my student showed her student card to the staff, because there wasn’t a green dot on the back of the card (signifying a disability – get that, huh?), she could not book the room.  Though I don’t look or act disabled, my student was obvious in her sightedness.

Neither I nor my student (both with the Disability Office) ever heard about this oppressive ‘green dot’ policy.  We had to be assertive and somewhat insisting on the rights of students and the accompanying accommodations.  Until we were able to get the attention of the Management were we able to gain access to the room.  The closing comment by the staff was something like “well, we will let it go this time.”

It was a moment of realizing that it was possible that staff member was Tolerating differently-abled, or “diff-abled” students.  And maybe, this was her way of trying to overcome her own sense of powerlessness – by inflicting it upon another through displaying both her Intolerance and Tolerance.

The most interesting thing happened later on.  I went through the complaint procedure and ended up getting a meeting with Management (and there another issue needed to be discussed).  It was professional and cordial and the necessary explanations and excuses were made to justify their actions.

When we left the meeting, we were walking casually and off-the-record, and he came around to saying to me (I am paraphrasing), “You know how young students are?  They are irresponsible and don’t listen.”  It was said so casual, like a “nudge-nudge wink-wink, know-what-I-mean, eh?”  (Thanks, Monty Python.)

So, after I wrapped my mind around that remark, I realized that comment could be understood to mean (to me, anyways, because he did acknowledge my mature status as a student):

1 – that ALL young students are the same,

2 – YOUNG students are irresponsible,

3 – they are being Tolerated,

4 – I should feel the same way he does given our ages,

5 – I should Tolerate the students too, and

6 – I should now understand the REAL reasoning behind their oppressive actions.

***
Back to my wonderings.

Is the Tolerating (and dominant) person/party
implying there is something wrong
with the differences over whom they feel superior?

In my search for answers to this and other questions, I also wondered why we have to use “othering” (or the symbol of their group) and put them down in order to achieve some kind of superior/powerful position.

This is the story in my head (from the ‘Meaning Making Machine’) about the way I see Tolerance:  It is an act by someone who ruthlessly allows somebody or something to “be” in spite of that person’s own perceived objections.

In other words,
the person doing the tolerating
is telling or implying to the person being tolerated
that s/he does not meet their standard.

***

It is not hard to see the possibility of Tolerance as an issue of power?  I sometimes get the feeling that when Tolerance is spoken or acted upon, it is no longer tolerance – it becomes arrogance.  Tolerance is divisive, exclusive, and laced with hidden prejudice.

I sometimes see Tolerance as a political tool.  Why the destructive nature of Tolerance is used this way (reasons/excuses) causes me to question the ignorance of people who accept it.  All Tolerance does is delay the journey towards understanding of others and ourselves.  It does not foster understanding, and it is not respectful.  It is just a grab for power over another.

The way Tolerance is expressed is so flexible,
that it can be anything between subtle sub-text in a conversation and
overt actions of obvious discrimination.

Everybody inherently knows this.  We know it is lip-service.  We know Tolerance doesn’t work and we all know someone still ends up feeling disempowered.  Yet, there is a lot of us who pretend to be humble when using Tolerance.

To accept Tolerance as an affective tool or way of being towards fostering a harmonious society is to both stunt the growth of this quest and do MORE harm towards our fellow human beings.

***

NEVER ACCEPT TOLERANCE!

***