Tolerance is a big deal in today’s world – at least in our current American culture. One of the most damning accusations many think they can hurl at you is to call you intolerant. Certainly, our world can use a little more effort to get along with others who are different from ourselves. We would do well to spend less time trying to get people to be just like us, and spend more time being the neighbors, family, coworkers, friends and strangers that we wish others would be to us. The Golden Rule still applies.
It is a very good thing that there are laws to prevent discrimination against groups based on race, nationality, gender, religion, sexual orientation, age and more.
In my workplace, it does not matter one bit to me about any of the above or other categorizations by which one may be grouped. What matters is that we work together well to accomplish the objectives of the business. Such categories are completely a non-issue for me in the workplace – not because it’s the law or company policy, but because it’s the sensible way to relate to others I work with in order to get things done, and because I genuinely respect people. Whether others look like me, act like me or believe like me in matters unrelated to work is of no significance in our ability to work together well. I will give my all to cooperate and collaborate, and if they reciprocate, we will succeed.
So it is odd to me when some demonstrate an extreme lack of tolerance toward others in the workplace when they don’t see eye to eye on matters outside the workplace. It seems at times that those yelling the most about tolerance have a tendency to themselves be extremely intolerant of anyone who disagrees with them on their soapbox issue.
Isn’t the epitome of tolerance being at that point like I mentioned above where such differences are a non-issue? Then why do some continue to make them an issue?
Leap year lesson #170 is Don’t be intolerant in the name of tolerance.