I just want to thank all of those people that have been pushing tolerance on me over the last few years, and its close cousin “coexistence”. You have effectively put the bar so low that I am more in danger of tripping on it than struggling to get over it. I can now ignore everyone around me and be considered moral in your eyes. My plan is this: I am going to get a stay-at-home job, order my groceries on Amazon, and wait until I die. I can now divorce my wife and abandon my children and be looked upon with reverence in your eyes. For those of you that are trying to reach me you can send me a letter or an email, but please know that I will probably not read it as it may have an effect on me in-congruent with my new philosophy.
Now you may not call this coexistence or tolerance, but these terms do not imply any sort of relationship so I figure I might as well just hole up here and wait of the end. If I end up running in to anyone I will abide by your edict and keep a safe distance so as not to interfere with their existence. I will tolerate them being in my presence long enough for me to get the Cinnamon Bears that I have been craving at Central Market and go home.
I understand where the words tolerance and coexistence get their traction, I am not naive. People have been hurt either individually or as a people group, be it cultural or religious or otherwise. From this point of view I see where people are coming from. Coexistence and tolerance however really only allows us to avoid each other and avoid things that make us uncomfortable; ultimately to avoid truth that comes from anyone other than yourself.
So here is to love, respect, honor, and other words that imply that I have given more than a passing glance to my fellow human. Of course love requires I give something of myself and it requires that I make myself vulnerable to being hurt. The other side of the coin means that I am allowed to eat fried chicken in my underwear by myself. Life on this planet was created to be in some sort of relationship, and if that relationship looks anything like coexistence I can tell you from experience that while you haven’t given anything, you haven’t gotten anything either.