The Importance of Tolerance

Written by Anna Furney, Reporter

  A recently surfaced video of Black Lives Matter protesters cornering a woman in a restaurant has become popular on the internet. The large group of protesters shouted in the woman’s face, raising their fists to replicate the tell-tale BLM image of the fist of solidarity. Why did these protesters corner and shout at this woman dining in a restaurant? Because she simply chose not to raise her fist with them.

  Tolerance is an important concept for everyone to understand and employ in their lives. Without tolerance, there is no harmony among people. Everyone has the right to their own opinion, and everyone’s opinions should be respected. You do not have to agree with someone in order to respect them. Respect and tolerance only require you to not mistreat someone for their differing viewpoints.

  University campuses are supposed to be renowned for their diversity, but too often we see students scared into submission of keeping quiet and following the majority. If a student is scared to speak about their opinions, there is a problem. Diversity of thought should be just as welcomed as diversity of culture. Without our own opinions, we are like mindless robots, never thinking for ourselves. It is okay to stop and question something you hear. It is okay to ask yourself, “should I support this?” It is okay to vote differently than your friends. You should never be afraid to act on your beliefs. If a friend mistreats you for having a different opinion, it’s probably time to look for better friends.

  Liberal or conservative, Democrat or Republican, most of us can agree that mistreating others is wrong. The next time someone has a differing opinion than you, respect that. Respect others for thinking for themselves. A little tolerance can go a long way.