It honestly took me a long time to figure out what to write today. This prompt can run the risk of being offensive (I could write about something like politics) or depressing (I could go on about how much I hate animal cruelty). So after a lot of thought, I decided to go with something that’s been brought to my attention more and more lately: intolerance.
I wasn’t exactly raised in the most open-minded household. My parents are openly against gay marriage and my grandmother thinks Modern Family is “pushing it in our faces.” My uncle frequently makes mean comments about other people’s haircuts or size. And there was a whole lot of talking when my cousin started dating a (lovely) black girl. And even though I was more often bullied than bully, I wasn’t exactly the nicest kid growing up.
Fortunately, I did grow up. And I realized that it’s a great thing that people are different. The world would be incredibly boring if everyone looked the same and liked the same things. And I strongly believe everyone is entitled to their opinions (although I’d prefer it if people actually educated themselves before making those opinions, and I think most “opinions” that end in “-ism” – racism, sexism, ageism, etc. – are not okay). But do we really have to force our opinions on others? No.
Is it necessary to hurl insults at the lesbian couple holding hands on the street? Or call an overweight person a “fat bitch” because they dare to eat something other than a salad in public? Absolutely fucking not. All that does is make someone feel like shit. And does it really make you feel better about yourself? Seriously? No matter how hard I try, I cannot grasp the thought process that makes someone think it’s okay to say things like that out loud. Especially to strangers.
It’s easy to dismiss intolerance as insensitivity. And to an extent, it is. But really, it’s a product of our culture. People like being ignorant, which is not a good thing. The more attention I pay to others, the more I realize how close-minded and defensive people can be. I have heard so many people tell others that they are wrong or stupid, simply because there is a lack of understanding. Believe what you want to believe. Make your own decisions. And then – here’s the part that’s so fucking difficult for people – let everyone else do the same damn thing.