Toxic Tolerance

I had high hopes for that meeting, and I had worked up my nerve to make a very important point during the community discussion period. My concern was (and is) based in my career knowledge of 30 years (good grief 40 now), with the very best of concerned intentions toward the welfare of our human community. The person who followed me debunked my opinion with a disrespectful statement. Her expertise was a glance out the window of an airplane As you can tell, I am still very angry over that. I was not angry that this woman was an ignorant fool. Ignorant fools are an abundant fact of life. I was angry because the so-called “discussion” format provided no opportunity for discussion. Everyone had an equal right to say whatever they wanted to say, so long as they were reasonably polite, and I therefore had no opportunity to support my opinion with facts.

We must find better ways to talk with each other that make possible the exchange of positive ideas that are based logic and demonstrable fact. If any. With compassion.

In the meantime, we must not leave the impression that we are too chicken or too uninterested or too few to deal with people who spread toxic lies that have the potential to permanently damage our cultural well being. It doesn’t matter why they are doing this; our job is to not permit it to damage the long-term welfare of our communities and our youth.

The bottom line is we were raised on tolerance. Tolerance worked, actually, until we forgot to train the youth the difference between toxic and benign differences of opinion, and until the bigots learned how to use our own tolerance against us and our communities. But anything can be carried too far.

The fact is, contrary to the California mantra, everyone does NOT have a right to his own opinion. Some opinions of individuals are extremely harmful to the community as a whole, and the welfare of the community is more important than the opinion or even the welfare of any one individual citizen. This is our current challenge. We must find a way to stop indiscriminantly tolerating any kind of off-the-wall behavior and language, but at the same time we need to avoid giving up the basic rights of the community. We can’t do this by sitting on our keesters, and we can’t do it by behaving as they behave. And we don’t really know how to do it but we must begin or we will lose the chance.

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