Marco Vissher, the managing editor of Ode Magazine, has a small article in the June 2007 issue of Ode which is entitled, "Beyond Tolerance: Putting Up With People Is Not The Same As Welcoming Them". Mr. Vissher states, "But the word 'tolerance' implies a hidden ambivalence. It suggests a kind of reluctant acceptance of something we actually want to condemn or give a wide berth."
Rather than just "tolerate" diversity, perhaps we should "value" diversity. What would happen if we welcomed the different, the threatening, the other into our life?
If you are white, what would it mean to welcome the black, the Hispanic, the Asian? If you are black, what would it mean to welcome the white, the Hispanic, the Asian? If you are Christian what it would it mean to welcome the Muslim, the Jew, the Atheist? If a Muslim, what would it mean to welcome the Christian, the Jew, the Atheist?
Being human, differences will not only continue to exist among us, but will be celebrated among us, because as humans, whether we are aware of it or not, we crave diversity. We want things to be different, perhaps not too different, but different nonetheless, otherwise we are bored . We crave some stimulation.
It would be a better world as Mr. Vissher points out if we were not just tolerant, but actually welcomed the other who is different from us and came to value the variety rather than feel threatened by what we do not know or understand.