On Tolerance

Something I picked up on Google Plus today:

Inigo says: You keep using that word, “tolerance” …incorrectly. He’d tell us to look it up and try again, but it’s been changed. I wasn’t even aware until tonight (I guess I’m a rotten word nerd). It always irked me when people said it in a sentence because I always thought, “What? I need to put up with that? Don’t you mean ‘embrace’, ‘empathize’ or ‘give leeway to’?”. Stay with me, folks.

See, years ago, Miriam Webster defined “tolerant” as: “To bear or put up with someone or something not especially liked.” With that in mind, doesn’t it seem really silly that in 85% percent of cultures around the world, tolerance is the #1 virtue? Nowadays, modern dictionaries define it as “sympathy or indulgence for beliefs or practices differing from or conflicting with one’s own”. What happened? Have we become so wrapped up as a society with being PC about stuff, that words are being fucked with?

With me still? Good. Here’s the lesson:
Classic tolerance has nothing to do with accepting another’s belief, only his or her right to have that belief. True tolerance respects and accepts individuals without necessarily approving of or participating in their beliefs, values, or behavior. Respect for the viewpoints and practices of others is not the same as agreement or moral endorsement. It simply means the ability to hold on to one’s convictions while accepting the right of others to hold on to theirs.

“I detest what you write, but I would give my life to make it possible for you to continue to write.” -Voltaire