It’s her privilege to say or think whatever she wants.  It’s mine to ignore her. (Carolyn Brown). Why do we take what others say and think so personally?  Really, people can say or think what they want.  If we don’t like it, we can ignore it.  Getting offended by someone else’s opinion is irrational.  We go on and on about freedom of speech yet we are the first ones to object when someone says something that offends us.  We talk of tolerance yet what we really mean is we want people to be tolerant of us, what we believe in, and those things we support.  It’s another story when people want us to be tolerant in return.  The very definition of tolerant is that we don’t agree, we don’t like, and we are offended–but we ignore or overlook, we “put up with”.  That’s what tolerant means.  Tolerant does not mean agree, go along with, and pretend you don’t mind.  We tolerate things we don’t like but have no control over.  We tolerate lines at the store because we have no choice.  We tolerate people exercising their rights because we have no choice.   We have no obligation to remain silent or act like we approve when we don’t.  We can all gleefully express our opinions and respectfully allow others to express theirs.  Try voicing unpopular opinions and get use to the negative back lash.  Post some comments on public sites that go against what the majority are posting.  Practice offending others without bending to the pressure to silence or censure your self.  It’s freeing to get those thoughts and opinions out there and be perfectly fine when people disagree.  The more we are able to tolerate others disagreeing with us, the more we will be able to gracefully disagree with others.


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