Hello. I’m a middle-aged, (reasonably) affluent, white male. And I’m intolerant — very much so.
While my age, ethnicity and gender are the default settings I arrived on the planet with and the comparative affluence is something I’ve worked to achieve (notwithstanding the advantages afforded to me by the other attributes — more on that another time…), the intolerance is what I’m here to talk about today.
You see, I’m intolerant of intolerance itself. I have no time for those that aren’t accepting of differences of opinion, differences of lifestyle, of ethnicity, religion, political views, sexual identity and/or preferences, etc. As the traditional saying succinctly puts it, I don’t suffer fools gladly (which is unfortunate, since I appear to be woefully outnumbered by them).
This is where maybe, just maybe, there’s room for change. Could it be that I’ve been going about this all wrong? Rather than sit in the happy confines of my ideological bubble, surrounding myself with the comfort blanket of like-minded individuals, effectively cutting out the “noise” of the intolerant from my sphere of awareness, should I instead seek to drive change, correct behaviours, adjust attitudes? Are prejudices so deeply entrenched that there’s no turning?
I think for the deeply-rooted intolerances, no amount of reason will turn the tide. But get in early, educate and inspire, before irrational ill-will takes a hold and maybe a difference can be made.
So here’s the plan — no longer will I write off the unenlightened as a lost cause. Fight hate with love, fight exclusionism with inclusivity, fight ignorance with education. Unlike Pokemon, you won’t get ’em all, but get in early and often and make a real difference. Adopt a fool today.