Fear and intolerance go hand in hand in our world today. It is as if they are intertwined at the root and feed off of each other in a vicious, toxic cycle. Fear is defined as an emotion induced by a perceived threat that causes animals to move quickly away from the location of the perceived threat, and sometimes hide.(Wikipedia). Intolerance is defined as refusal to tolerate or respect contrary opinions or beliefs…. (Dictionay.com) The two together create a caustic mix with dangerous and possibly violent results.
I believe we have created this poisonous combo to serve our own interests. By using fear, we can impress our own intolerant beliefs upon others. It is so very prevalent in our society stinging it’s victims with a venom of hate unlike any other. Why do we perpetuate this bad relationship? Why can’t we see through the fog of fear as it surrounds us and we lose our way? Instead we blindly follow others down their path and cling to their intolerance, owning it as ours.
Sometimes I wonder where the human race is headed. It has always been my hope that through life lessons we would learn not to fear and to beat back the bully of intolerance. I think it is a very hard battle to win. The early days of equal rights was a long and hard-fought fight. Many lives lost along the way- lost to intolerance and fear. But have we learned from the past? Unfortunately, I don’t think we have. Yes, these are powerful forces that can literally kill and do still take lives today. And we stand by and shake our heads and feel lucky that it did not happen where we live. Forgetting that fear and intolerance know no boundaries. Eventually you will have a loved one affected directly and then you may arise from indifference -feeling the sting from a reality awakening.
Don’t stand for intolerance. It doesn’t become you. It doesn’t become our society either. If you don’t rid yourself of bigoted thoughts and ideals you will never truly see the beauty of humanity. The beauty in all of us regardless of the color of our skin, age, gender, sexual preference, and religious beliefs just to name a few. You will be taught to fear that which is different from you instead of embracing the variety of life. Empathy is the key. It is the antidote for which we should all seek. It will take time. No more hiding in fear. No more refusing to respect contrary beliefs, opinions, and those who are different that ourselves. Are we up for it? Oh, but can we afford the alternative?