I’m writing to ask for more tolerance in our community — tolerance for different ideas and beliefs.
The recent letters in response to Jean McCamy’s opinion (Aug. 8, Funny business isn’t funny) left me feeling sad and a bit hopeless that we’ll never figure it out. So, I’m writing my first letter ever to ask for each of us here in Wake Forest to actively take a stand for mutual respect and support.
I believe that we all care very, very deeply about our families, our community and our country. And I think that we each want good health, happiness or contentment and security.
But in today’s world we are encouraged to focus on our differences. At all levels, our society fosters disrespect, labeling and belittling people who have ideas that are different from our own.
It is so much easier to discount people and put them into boxes labeled ‘good’ or ‘bad’ or ‘liberal’ or ‘conservative,’ than it is to respect them.
I’m to blame, too. There are times when I simply cannot understand how a person could say such a thing or have such an opinion. My initial reaction is often disgust and scorn — and putting them into the ‘bad’ box.
But, I see that my initial reaction is a part of the problem, and that if I don’t change my response, then I’m just giving in to the divisive culture that our media supports and encourages.
This isn’t easy. We are so different in so many ways. It’s ironic to me that politics and religion are fundamental to our shared existence, and yet they are the driving forces behind our collective disintegration as a community.
So — I don’t have a solution and I can’t control much of anything in this world. But I can work on my tolerance of people who have different ideas than I do, and I can look for the things we have in common, and I can resist the impulse to name calling and belittling.
Will you join me?