I dream of a world in which everyone chooses their own beliefs, follows their own path, and respects the right of others to do the same. I want to live in a world where I don’t hear about who is building a mosque where; where I never hear about an obscure Koran-burning nutjob in Florida; where Muslims around the world are not upset and burning flags in response to said nutjob in Florida. People certainly have a right to do all of that; I just wish enough people didn’t care that nobody else paid any attention; that it was not considered newsworthy.
The terrorists are getting off on all this. What some people don’t seem to understand is that this is their goal; they are trying to create division and strife. Those who are upset about the mosque are letting the terrorists win. I would like to see a massive gleaming mosque right next to ground zero. How about a cathedral and a temple and whatever other place of worship as well built in a circle all around the ground zero site? To me it shows the difference between us and the terrorists. It says we don’t murder thousands of innocent people because we disagree with them. It says we allow people we disagree with to choose their own way and to live right next to us in peace. That’s what I would do.
Living a tolerant life is not just about others, although it it truly a win-win for everyone. It’s about yourself. I truly believe that in order to achieve peace and well-being for yourself, you have to learn to let others be. If what other people are doing upsets you that much, you are enslaving your own happiness to the actions of others.
In my little suburban neighborhood here in Houston, South Texas, I see all kinds. I can walk down the street and see a woman completely covered including the head scarf in the middle of oppressive summer heat and the next minute see another woman who is mostly skin and leaving little to the imagination. I see little children, teenagers, and old men and women of all colors and styles. As I move around the city I encounter incredible diversity of ethnicity and lifestyle. Yet somehow we all live together in relative peace and harmony.
Being tolerant certainly does not mean that you agree with others. It does not mean you think they are right or that you approve of what they are doing. You don’t have to be gay or straight or agree with either lifestyle to dream that the institution of marriage should not a concern of the state or a concern of other people. I don’t understand why people who get upset about gay marriage don’t see that they are just creating a lot of attention and media presence for that of which they don’t approve.
How can some obscure nutjob in Florida upset Muslims the world over? What kind of crazy world are we living in? How can this this idiot impact their lives? Only because they let him by giving him even one second of their attention. I don’t agree with him, but I could care less what he does. I am completely tolerant of him. Let him alone to shout his insane ramblings into the dark mind swamp in which he lives.
A read an article recently in the New Yorker about Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the president of Iran. In that article it mentioned that conservative clerics were pressuring him to crack down on the out of control youth of the more liberal northern Tehran. Their crime? They were dying their hair blond and other colors. Seriously? Do they not see that the kids dye their hair only because of the effect it has on others? Many parents have never learned this lesson either.
I’m sorry but if you are concerned about the color of other people’s hair, you are a total slave to them. These clerics who get off on their alleged power are the most enslaved of them all. You can only be free and achieve peace when you do not get upset with what others are doing.
The degree you try to control another person, is the degree to which you make yourself a slave to their behavior.
I choose not to be a slave to others by getting overly concerned with what they are doing. I love the diversity of people I see around me all the time. It tells me I still live in a semi-free place where people are allowed to do their own thing and don’t have to worry about being murdered for it.
For you own sake and for the peace of the world, this is a plea for tolerance. Think what you want and think it passionately. Do what you want and do it passionately. Choose your own beliefs and follow your own path. Try to see that others are doing exactly the same thing with their own lives and just let them be. Set yourself free.
What do YOU think? Leave a comment and join the conversation.
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