Tolerance v. Acceptance

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Tolerance v. Acceptance

Postby talipanda » Tue May 14, 2013 9:40 pm

Hey Jules, Rem and Moo Crew,

Listening to the pod cast this week got me really thinking about this question from the "anonymous gnome". I wanted to see where he was coming from, but his example didn't support his point as well as the analysis of Jules and Rem. Here are my thoughts.

Tolerance and Acceptance both need to be defined and those definitions need to be agreed upon before discussion can continue. For me, tolerance is when I may disagree or dislike something, but because it is not affecting me significantly I will not push against it.

Acceptance is a bit trickier, because it has more legal connotations, but I think this is a good definition: "the act of accepting : the fact of being accepted : approval" ---

Now the crying baby in the restaurant is a situation that most would agree is intolerable IF the parents are not trying to do anything about it. Kudos to Trelant's wife for having the respect for others to get her meal to go. I know when my 8 year old step daughter has a melt down, we leave if we can't pacify her.
Noone likes having his or her meal disturbed by someone else's noise in any situation, be it a drunk Frat Bro, a Bachelorette party or a noisy group of kids. I know I have been a member of a noisy party that was asked to keep it down a couple of times... but we all can tolerate small disturbances if they are not constant.

But here is my situation: I manage a retail store in a seedier part of Reno, NV and we get all kinds of people coming in. Do I accept or approve of their lifestyle choices? No. But I tolerate anything I don't agree with as a matter of respect and courtesy. One example is when a guy in his 30s that is not as cool as he thought he used to be calls some of our shoes "gay" because they don't fit his style. But plenty of teenagers and young adults buy these shoes because they are cool and stylish. I will tolerate this guy unless he starts in on a customer or one of my staff. But I don't accept his point of view.

One day a guy came in wearing a beanie with a swastika patch on it. He was the only customer in the store and I didn't notice that his tiny patch was there until he had looked around a bit. Do I accept his point of view because I let him walk around in my store? Hell no. But I tolerated it for a few minutes because he was not doing anything disrespectful to the shop or us, and his right to wear that patch is just as important as any of our rights to say and express our views so long as we are not causing harm.

But too much tolerance can be a bad thing. Germany before World War II. Slavery. NSA, TSA, DHS, IRS...

Respect is key. We all have a right to our opinions and preferences, and we should respect those that are not in line with our own just as much as we accept those that do line up with our own. I don't need to accept that your favorite cookies are Oreos, but I can respect that, tolerate it and not throw them away while you are not looking. Or maybe even get you a glass of fresh milk....

Let me know what you guys think

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Re: Tolerance v. Acceptance

Postby Cohumulone » Thu May 16, 2013 2:09 pm

I hope it’s ok that I respond here, since it’s on the forums. If not, feel free to delete it. I'm ok with that too. :)

I think you have some good points here and we could all benefit from the read. Acceptance and tolerance are so subjective that I think it’s not fair to try to define them universally. The thresholds for each are going to be different with different people. Those can be adjusted, of course, based on experiences, as they have for me.

Keeping an open mind is difficult to do, despite our best intentions. It’s a struggle that good people are willing to take on. Even when we think we’re in the clear, sometimes we’re not. I wanted to point out something you wrote and have you try to look at it from a different angle. The guy with the swastika patch. You said you didn’t agree with his views. What were his views? Did you ask him? While we all know what the swastika means to certain hate groups, there are other people who actually wear the swastika to represent some of its original meanings. It’s a shame that Nazi Germany used that emblem for what they used it for, but that was all part of the marketing to get more buy-in from the folk.

I get judged all the time because of how I look. I’m a white guy with a shaved head with tattoos, a full beard, who rides a motorcycle, and wears emblems dating back to my Indo-Germanic Ancestry. I do get asked frequently if I’m a “skin head.” Nope. I’m not. I shave my head because I ride a motorcycle and my hair is curly so if it gets messed up, it looks ridiculous the rest of the day. I have equal respect and admiration for all cultures.

Anyway, thanks for the discussion. I like seeing what other people see.

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Re: Tolerance v. Acceptance

Postby Hawgeye » Mon May 20, 2013 8:48 pm

Howdy Moo-folk!

I'd agree that it's very important to have an agreement on definition of terms. The specific terms being used were "tolerance" and "acceptance." Myself I feel like tolerance is closer to acceptance than the Anonymous Gnome would suggest. There was a time when my tolerance was less close to acceptance, and I now feel embarrassed to reflect on my earlier judgmental beliefs and behaviors. I'll share that my "judginess" extended to sexual orientation issues; in retrospect I feel like I was coming from a closed- minded point of view. Now my intolerance is restricted to a smaller range, and I try to reflect on the motivations for the issues that I still judge.

//moo to all you good folk

p.s. I vote with Rem that giggling is a good thing! :lol:
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