Colors of Life

Posted: December 2, 2013 in Attitude, LGBT, Perspective

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There are three levels I’d like to address.  Tolerance, acceptance, and understanding:

Tolerance – The ability or willingness to tolerate something, in particular the existence of opinions or behavior that one does not necessarily agree with.

Acceptance – Acceptance in human psychology is a person’s assent to the reality of a situation, recognizing a process or condition without attempting to change it, protest, or exit.

Understanding – Sympathetically aware of other people’s feelings; tolerant and forgiving.

 

TOLERANCE comes in many forms.  Some tolerate to keep the peace.  Some tolerate because of relationship status…i.e. friends or family.  Some tolerate because it’s “politically correct”.  Some do not practice tolerance, and wouldn’t even begin to know what that was.

No one can ‘police’ our thoughts or inner emotions.  Most project an image of tolerance, and boast of their feelings of diversity, but conceal the prejudiced thought processes that were drilled into them at a very tender age.  Diversity brings so many colors to our world.  Without it, we would experience life in a two dimensional, gray world with everyone being the same.  Ethnicity, LGBT, and varied social strata, keep life challenging and beautiful.  But every culture and society have their own ‘norms’ and their own diversity, as well as their own challenges and level of tolerance.

 

ACCEPTANCE is what we all strive to achieve, without strings attached.  It’s not a difficult thing when it comes to the things we personally are involved in, or mindset.  But when it’s outside of our supposed ‘norms’, we struggle with acceptance.  As the above definition implies, acceptance is recognizing a process or condition “without attempting to change it, protest, or exit”.   Those who have quirks, disabilities, or are LGBT long for this level of understanding…we just want to be validated as human beings that are respected and recognized as beneficial to the communities in which we reside, but soon realize that is not usually the case.

 

UNDERSTANDING folks are compassionate about their attempts at friendships and dealings with others unlike themselves.  This is also another desirable trait for anyone who wants to flourish socially.  

 

Tolerance, Acceptance, and Understanding are often blurred and somewhat interchangeable, but they do have definite levels that set them apart.  Our personal experiences have shown these traits on some levels, others do not even make an attempt to adjust, or to save the relationship.  Those who are diverse in our current societal norms, often experience rejection, estrangement, and abuse because they strive to be who they are among those who do not strive to tolerate, accept, or understand.  Some do respond favorably, but most do not.  Time is our friend, and with time, relationships can mend.  Don’t give up on your loved ones.  Not all friends and loved ones will want to stay with you on your path to happiness and loss to some degree is inevitable.  No one will understand all of you, but acceptance and tolerance does not require understanding. Being who you are by stepping out of the social norms to achieve that goal, is well worth your mental health and joy of this life that is yours.   In the words of Star Treks Spock, “Live Long and Prosper”!

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Comments
  1. Thomas luyet says:

    Great read… A little something here for everyone!!

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