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Diversity and our differences

What do you think about this quote:

Diversity does not mean tolerating our differences, but rather celebrating them.

Can we celebrate our differences in beliefs, rather than simply tolearte them? Does celebrate equate approve of them? Do you have to approve of differences in order to respect and appreciate a person?

Answer Question

Asked by sahmamax2 at 4:15 PM on Nov. 28, 2009 in Religion & Beliefs

Level 37 (88,208 Credits)
Answers (15)
  • I've always considered the idea of tolerating someone to be condescending. Much like giving someone permission to believe differently. Who died and made anyone boss enough to give anyone else "permission" to be different? I don't know that we have to celebrate them, either. Differences aren't always cause for celebration. I see nothing to celebrate in my cousin never being able to live on his own or care for himself, because he's "different", even though he is intelligent and painfully aware of that inability and wants more than anything to be able to do just that. How about everyone just sit down and shut up and deal with the fact that people are different and it's not their place to have an opinion on the "rightness" or "wrongness" of that difference?

    Answer by NotPanicking at 4:21 PM on Nov. 28, 2009

  • NP~I understand what you are saying. I don't think anyone has any right to dictate what is right or wrong either. And I don't like "tolerate" as well.
    I'd much rather people realize we are all different, understand it, accept it and move on. All the while continuing to show love for those around us.
    I'm not saying this in reference to people like your cousin, who are irresponsible and expect others to cater to him. I talking more in the sense of our beliefs and morals.

    Answer by sahmamax2 at 4:24 PM on Nov. 28, 2009

  • I'm not saying this in reference to people like your cousin, who are irresponsible and expect others to cater to him.

    He is not irresponsible. He has a birth defect. His brain is unable to decipher numbers and translate them in a way that makes sense. He can write entire novels, but he is incapable of numbering the pages. As a result, he can never live totally self-sufficiently. The best is can hope for is some sort of group home where he has people to pay his bills, cook his food (can't read the temps on the stove or the recipe), do his shopping, dial the phone, and every other thing we do in our lives and take for granted that involve numbers.

    Answer by NotPanicking at 4:27 PM on Nov. 28, 2009

  • Oh I'm sorry....I totally misread what you wrote!!! I thought you were referring to someone who was capable but was choosing not to do something for himself!! I am sorry!!!

    Answer by sahmamax2 at 4:29 PM on Nov. 28, 2009

  • FIrst I want to say that I am sorry that your cousin has that trouble, NP. I hope that one day someone finds a way for him to function where he can be on his own. Has anyone thought about coming up with some kind of code where the numbers that he would have to have would be replaced by letters? Just a thought.
    But, anyway, I guess I agree that tolerance is a bit condescending, but that is about the best word I can think of to describe what I feel people should do. No matter how hard we try, people are never going to be the same (and it would be a little boring if we all were, don't you think), so people need to get over the fact that there are differences and just learn to live with it. Even in the same "circles" there are differences, and NO ONE is any better then anyone else.

    Answer by spiritguide_23 at 10:33 PM on Nov. 28, 2009

  • Personally it sounds like a bunch of feel good mumbo jumbo to me. Tolerance means to allow something to be done (or in religion, believed) without interference. I don't expect others to accept or agree with my beliefs but I do expect tolerance. And, while I may not agree with another persons beliefs, I don't ever intend to prevent or hinder their practice - as long as it isn't illegal or dangerous.

    Tolerance isn't a negative thing, you just have to be with people or in a culture that don't practice tolerance in order to see how good of a thing it is.

    I think the feel good mumbo jumbo comes in with the word celebrate - which definition of the word celebrate do you mean? A public ceremony, a holiday, a party for every difference?

    I don't think respecting a person means you have to approve of everyone of their beliefs.

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:52 PM on Nov. 28, 2009

  • Tolerance is not a bad thing. Tolerance is being kind and showing respect even when we don't agree with one another. In our overly liberal world people have changed the meaning into a negative and now unless you change your beliefs to agree with the masses you are a bigot. Seems wrong.

    Answer by Anonymous at 2:02 AM on Nov. 29, 2009

  • now unless you change your beliefs to agree with the masses you are a bigot

    You don't have to change your beliefs, you only have to keep them to yourself. If you want to hate people based on who they love, more power to you, but don't you dare spew your hate to my kid and expect to walk away in one piece.

    Answer by NotPanicking at 2:28 AM on Nov. 29, 2009

  • NP, is that disability on the spectrum? I have a lot of trouble deciphering number things at times, myself. Nothing as extreme as his, really, but it is troublesome and highly inconvenient as it is. Just added to all the other stuff I have trouble decoding and processing, it it often very overwhelming. I really liked what you said up there about tolerating coming off as "giving someone permission" to be someway. I run into that definition of it a lot. I never really thought about it before -- and maybe it is because I am so weird and out of step with those around me who do make it seem like that -- maybe it really is more about acceptance that tolerance.

    Answer by roachiesmom at 3:30 AM on Nov. 29, 2009

  • I don't like either word - tolerate or celebrate.

    I prefer respect. I respect that there are many people - some of them friends, and some of them family - who do not believe as I do. Of course, I'm human, and I wish that they believed what I did, BUT, I respect that just as I hold my personal beliefs near and dear to my heart, and I wouldn't want them to disrespect that, then I respect that they, too, hold their personal beliefs just as near and dear to their hearts.

    It's not about celebrating the things that are different (which implies an agreement with), or simply tolerating it (which implies a condensation or a grudging acceptance). But it's about accepting and respecting those differences, and being willing to learn about them in a respectful way.

    Answer by sailorwifenmom at 9:16 AM on Nov. 29, 2009

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