Tolerance … Can’t We All Get Along?

Getting alongAs I walked through the bedroom, something caught my eye in the corner of the room. My dog’s bed had two bodies in it. I only own one dog– Chaz. Chaz had taken over my daughter’s hand-me-down Great Dane bed. His small 18 pound body was curled in one corner. My 16 pound kitty, Hollywood, was curled in the other one. They were color coordinated and separated by a red blanket.

As I paused, two sleepy heads opened their eyes as if they questioned my curiosity. It was obvious that a cat and a dog sharing a bed wasn’t a normal scenario to me. For them – no problem. This paled in comparison to the lion and lamb symbol of peace. But it did speak volumes to tolerating each other’s differences.

In the wake of the 2012 Presidential campaign, differences and opinions saturated all media platforms. Television, newspapers, bumper stickers… social media. The American Pie was dissected and wedged by political party lines, special or personal interests, among other things. Voices and words rang in loud decibels. Anything and everything was heaped on the sacrificial political altar. By the end of November, it was clear that the country was divided by groups that thrived on anger and finger pointing.

I was raised in a social environment that appeared to hold certain traditions sacred. The moral compass that once trained my right and wrong choices seems to spin out of control under the banner of individual freedom. Violence saturates our culture, from childhood video games to domestic fist fights. Leadership delays offending selfishly motivated groups in lieu of a poll. We’ve lost the lead in leadership.

So, as I watched my dog share his bed with Hollywood, I have to admire the civility, in spite of their differences. I reflect on past American communities that need not be fractured by labels such as dog or cat. Gay or straight. Christian or Jewish. I choose to honor the melting pot of our diverse ethnic country. But I also take responsibility for my choices. My hands embrace work—not reaching for a government check. As the post-election voices quiet, I pray it isn’t too late to recover the civil society that we enjoyed. We need to pull together and pull our weight instead of lapsing into complacency.

“A society begins with us, it must not end with us,” said John Gardner.

Good job, Chaz and Hollywood.

4 thoughts on “Tolerance … Can’t We All Get Along?

  1. Its easy to blame society for the turmoil we witness today.
    From the 20’s through the 60’s we watched slapstick comedy, wrestling, war and cowboy vs Indians movies which were base on some form of violence against self or others.
    The Roman Empire enjoyed watching the Gladiators fight to the death. The knights jousted to the death publicly.
    Even Animal Planet airs the violence that can be Mother Nature.
    It is apparent that human nature in general is drawn to look.
    It is regrettable that some individuals cannot discern from reality and fantasy and propagate the violent aspects of humanity on an unbalanced scale.
    I agree that the bleeding heart special interest groups are self absorbed and appear to believe that the only Persons deserving of consideration and terrance are themselves.
    We must all share this space. We do not have to like each other but we do need to respect each other’s space and time.
    Thank Chaz man and Hollywood for showi g us that it can be done.

    • KVarn on February 18, 2013 at 5:50 pm said:Edit

      I agree but have to factor in the immense ability for media to allow global exposure of good or evil. It expoentiates the inability to avoid undesired or unsolicited platforms. Now, I need to go poke Hollywood like Curly, my favorite Stooge!

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