Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Be part of the solution

"There's only two things I hate in this world. People who are intolerant of other people's cultures and the Dutch." - Nigel Powers, Austin Powers Goldmember

Politics . It brings out the worst in people. Every election season, I cannot wait until it is over. People become a more intolerant version of themselves. We have the extreme right and the extreme left – they are equally ridiculous and hypocritical. Both blame the other for all our problems. The sad truth may be that they are ALL to blame.

During this season, the political emails have become increasingly angry and hateful. One that was sent to us (from someone who clearly doesn’t know how we plan to vote) actually said that liberals are all pieces of shit. Um….I would say that I am a liberal. Why must it be one way or the other – isn’t it possible that I am still a worthwhile person, even though I’m voting Democrat? Believe me, if there is a reason why I am a piece of shit – it is not because of how I vote. But that’s a topic for another day.

My point in this…settle down people…have some decency. Tolerate another point of view. Realize that we all want to do what is right. I don’t mind someone who believes something passionately. In fact – I admire that passion – but when that passion turns into obsession, intolerance and hate…it has gone too far. You have heard it before… God forgives, unless you don’t believe what I believe and then you are going to hell.

It always amazes me how what you believe frames your reality. If you believe something strongly enough – no matter how much evidence in compiled to the contrary, you will never be convinced otherwise.

Can’t we disagree and still respect each other? Is that too much to ask? Is it too much to expect that two people, who have reached the pinnacle of their political lives - they are candidates for President of the United States for God’s sake, hold each other in esteem and honor? It’s the disrespect and intolerance that I can’t stomach, that has spread through our society like a wild fire. You see it everywhere – in the business world, on the little league field, at school, at church.

I have been known to be quite intolerant in my 34 years. I'll admit it. I don't want to be one of those hypocrites. It takes work to change. It takes the guts to realize that you are part of the problem. Because you are either part of the problem or you are part of the solution. I am really working on being part of the solution…being part of the problem wasn't working for me.

Intolerance is itself a form of violence and an obstacle to the growth of a true democratic spirit.
--Mahatma Gandhi

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