I may be stupid for touching on this delicate subject, in fact I am pretty sure I am.  I feel strongly about today’s topic but I work in a profession that discourages airing personal opinions.  More importantly, my position discourages talking specifically about controversial things because there are people waiting to argue or accuse me of having evil or unacceptable intent.  It’s just easier to avoid the whole conversation.

Let’s take a look at the many different types of people of our community.   There are racial minorities, gays, transgenders, liberals, conservatives, handicapped, drug users, alcoholics, the obese, anorexics, geniuses and mentally ill people.  Oh, and everyone else that doesn’t fit into those categories.  Let’s get something out of the way right now – I know someone will be offended by the labels I just used because  there are more politically correct names for some of them.  For example, liberals like to be called Limbaugh-challenged.  But who are these people?  They are the grocery store clerk you saw last week, the lawyer handling your will, the cop who just drove past you, your teacher, your neighbor and last but not least – you.  So how is the world supposed to treat you because you are perceived to be different?  I say equally and the key is tolerance.

There is a difference between acceptance and tolerance.  In my experience, there are many members of these groups that expect the masses to accept their lifestyle, choices or situation.  This is an unrealistic expectation which causes defensiveness and widens the gap between the groups.  With tolerance we don’t have to accept the other person – we simply have to let them be who they are.    Tolerance is simpler, quicker and a far more realistic expectation.

I am not naive enough to believe we have achieved equality in our society and I (like many of you) am not perfect.  But if we are to do something today to further our goal of making the world a better place, we can start by being tolerant of others and focusing our criticisms on more productive things.

About chiefsview

Former police chief. Mildly opinionated.
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6 Responses to Tolerance

  1. Wilbur Holz says:

    Well said. There is a certain standard of conduct, of how I should treat any and everyone no matter what their position or lifestyle. Courtesy, respect, kindness, in short good manners probably sums it up as well as anything, is how I am to treat people and the last time I checked those at either end of the political spectrum are still people. We might not find much on which to agree and so could not accept each other’s views, but tolerance can certainly be shown.

  2. Chris Opitz says:

    Law enforcement officers take an oath when “sworn in” to uphold the Constitution. At the heart of that guiding document is the freedom for people to be who they wish. Tolerance is invariably necessary for our republic to function. Your word holds alot of weight, Chief, and I (and many others) admire your efforts to make our city a more tolerant place to live.

  3. Chief Allender: I read your blog…re: Tolerance….with much interest….appreciation and admiration. My grandson is a member of your police department….and I am heartened to learn this his Chief takes the time to discuss this most important facet of human relationships. Thank you. Dr. Samuel Harbin
    Springfield, Missouri

  4. Loren Symonds says:

    Pretty simple, really. The Golden Rule. Treat me like you would like to be treated. Sometimes these things have to be said as a reminder. Thanx, Chief.

  5. Amen, amen and amen again!

  6. Tom Lawrence says:

    Thanks, Steve. This is the chief I know and respect. RC is fortunate to have had a run of quality police chiefs who live and grow with the times.

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