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bear by san

March 2017

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bear by san

on tolerance

Something one of all y'all (and I won't say who, or what about, because it was a locked entry) said this morning made me think. It made me think about how easy it would have been for me to be somebody who judged a lot more than I do.

It seems to me that so much intolerance radiates from one of two places: either the desperate fear that somebody, somewhere, is having fun that we are scared to have; or the desperate need to shore up our shaky self-importance.

Toni Morrison once said, "If you can only be tall because somebody else is on their knees, you have a serious problem."

And it seems to me that I am profoundly lucky to have such a diversity of people in my life: Christians, Pagans, Muslims, atheists, agnostics, Jews, Unitarians, Erisians, Buddhists, Hindus. Persons who are gay, straight, bi, transgendered, asexual, poly, monogamous, or intersexed. Persons who consider reality tunnels highly negotiable concepts. Americans, South Africans, Canadians, denizens of Europe, the Caribbean, the British Isles, Japan, India. Persons of various skin tones and ethnicities. Reasonable conservatives and reasonable liberals and reasonable socialists. The odd Libertarian, nihilist, or Trotskyite. Persons who do not identify with a political philosophy. Military persons. Civilian persons. Persons who do not even identify particularly with the human species.

Moral persons, most of you. And it's not moral relativism; you are moral persons. You have an internally consistent and logical structure upon which hangs your own concept of your honor and the rules by which you live your lives. I'm pleased to know you.

There was a point in the very recent past when I was bit freaked out by the whole idea of fanfic/slash. Getting to know st_crispins and green_key and ndannais and kelliem and commodorified and przed really opened my eyes to what was going on there, and why it was fun, and the artistic intent behind it all. I used to be scared of Christians, but I met people like porphyrin and arcaedia and jmeadows (and a whole bunch more of you: I'm not going to run down the whole list), people who were willing to love me even though there are things about my beliefs that lie in contravention of theirs. Christians who believed in witnessing through their actions rather than their words. Those are two casual examples of ways in which my eyes have been opened, but I've learned so much from all of you, and from mrissa and katallen and froggie_spawn and makeshiftdaisy and was06066, from kendwoods and netcurmudgeon and ashacat and shesingsnow, and all of you--everybody who comments here, and everybody I know in real life.

Thanks, guys. For making me more human. And more humane, also.

***

Comments

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::loff::
*loffback*

Oh, I dunno if there was ever a real click experience. I've written a couple of defenses of fanfiction (I'm pretty sure you've seen them)--but it was mostly repeated exposure to the idea that, you know, people were *playing* with stuff. And I started thinking, well, so, how is it different than me riffing on Tam Lin, or playing Starsky & Hutch when we were kids, or role playing games set in Middle Earth?

And I realized, we1l, it's not. Just the grown up version of same.

Real people slash still freaks me out a little.
You are a pretty cool person. That was a beautiful post.
Shucks, nah, I'm as big of an asshole as anybody. But I'm trying, as Samuel L. Jackson once said. Lord, I'm trying.

One of those lines

Some of us think in stories. By which I mean (as much as I ever mean anything, which is as rarely as I can manage) that there are lines and characters that really get inside your head.

For me, one of those was a line from the story Time is the Simplest Thing</a> by Clifford Simak. One of the central beings, a creature just called The Pinkness, is a creature that swapped its mind with everything it encountered, as a way of exploring the universe... and there was this one tiny little line in there about how this had resulted in a nearly limitless compassion for all ways of being.

I think of that line a lot. The best learning should increase your sense of wonder, of joy, and of compassion (of which tolerance and acceptance is part).
either the desperate fear that somebody, somewhere, is having fun that we are scared to have; or the desperate need to shore up our shaky self-importance.


mayakda posted this link yesterday about a study that showed that clingy and insecure preschoolers have a higher tendency to grow up and become conversatives. At least in one area of the country. http://www.thestar.com/NASApp/cs/ContentServer?pagename=thestar/Layout/Article_Type1&call_pageid=971358637177&c=Article&cid=1142722231554
Er . . . that's *conservatives*.

Need

more

coffee.

schmoooooooooop

and, *hug*

(oh, and my rss feed is *this* close to used-never, as i been using the reg lj feed for da mekkavandexter these days, cuz it's just easier to keep track of you kids that way ;))
Thank you for doing the same for me.

I used to be a Trotskyite, but I decided it wasn't going to survive the Singularity and I'd better just stock up on single-malt Scotch instead :)
=^)

"Persons who do not even identify particularly with the human species."

Furries?
Otherkin is the word I've heard being passed around lately, in the never-ending effort to not sound like an Internet-based joke.

I go with furry when I'm explaining what I am, even though it isn't actually that accurate, because one of the great things about life is that everyone, everywhere, has some aspect of themselves that really, really sounds like an Internet-based joke.

Re: we're all aliens, to one another*

Yeah, pretty much.

*sigh*

I need a nap.
It seems to me that so much intolerance radiates from one of two places: either the desperate fear that somebody, somewhere, is having fun that we are scared to have; or the desperate need to shore up our shaky self-importance.

For me, when I was younger, I went through a pretty judgemental phase, and I think the why was sort of a combination of those two reasons, but it expressed itself in a desire for conformity. I was different from everybody else, and it was pretty easy to lay the blame for everything wrong with my life on those differences. I thought, if I could just be like everybody else, I'd be happy. So I tried to conform, and it was uncomfortable, but I felt that it had to be done.

As a result, anyone who was out there NOT trying to conform (or conforming to something else) sapped my resolve, and that was scary.

Basically, the little thing that snowballed into an epiphany for me was my dad telling me once: "The biggest mistake you can make in life is to assume that other people don't have any problems."

As I explored that idea, I started to realize that there was so much more to people than the societal masks they wear. Two people might have the same mask, but be completely different underneath. Whereas two other people might have completely different masks, yet have much more in common underneath than they realize.

I think a lot of the self-esteem problems and envy and predjudice we have comes from assuming that the mask is always a perfect representation of the person behind it.

(Gosh, I had more of that in me than I realized, lol!)
"As I explored that idea, I started to realize that there was so much more to people than the societal masks they wear. Two people might have the same mask, but be completely different underneath. Whereas two other people might have completely different masks, yet have much more in common underneath than they realize."

I like that. Very clear yet very insightful.
And I am honored and enriched by you, and value your friendship. Your perspective on life and morality has helped me grow as a person and grow in my spirituality as well.
And likewise, thank you for the same.
This is good stuff. I spend half my life wishing people were more accepting, also that I was, but I'm getting there, I think.

Anyway, keep it up and you have my respect for the effort.
Yay! What Bear said - only Bear said it better, of course.

One of the unexpected things about LJ is the sheer variousness of the friends I've made here - and without even trying. I friend people who talk about books, or whose posts make me laugh, and then realise I have friends all round the globe, of all religions and none, in all sorts of domestic arrangements...
Yeah.

This whole talking to people thing is kind of tricky cool, idn't it?
That's what we're here for, hon. And what you're here for, too.
*loff*
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