Tolerance isn't just a value you hold, so much as it's something you do repeatedly. It's uncomfortable. You f*** up. You go to parties where they play music that you don't know how to dance to. You go to restaurants where the food is difference. You go to neighborhoods, where no one speaks English. The whole time people on the outside are laughing at you. The people you're trying to understand get pissed at you, and call you racist, homophobe, bigot, sexist etc.
But they ultimately respect you for trying. And you get better. You pick up bits of a second language. You learn to like the food, to enjoy the music. And then one day you look up, and lo and behold, it seems like the whole world is dancing to that same music, eating that same food.
Friday, May 29, 2009
Quote of the Day: On tolerance
This is from Ta-nehisi Coates' blog entry The Importance of Being Politically Correct.