A: They shouldn't.
Tolerate as defined at Dictionary.com:
1. to allow the existence, presence, practice, or act of, without prohibition or hindrance; permit.
2. to endure without repugnance; put up with.
3. (medicine) to endure or resist the action of (drug, poison, etc.).
4. (obsolete) to experience, undergo, or sustain, as pain or hardship.
(There are other definitions in other dictionaries, and some are better, but I always use Dictionary.com for consistency even if my bias favors other definitions. More words are linked to definitions throughout; feel free to click and learn at your convenience.)
Going by the definitions above, I ponder: What is positive about being tolerated? Being 'put up with' is supposed to be a good thing? How?
Do you know what gets 'put up with'? Flatulence, burping, rude manners, other people's kids, taxes, bureaucrats, and anything else that people don't like but they 'put up with' because they believe they have no other choice. Thus, I reiterate: What is positive about being tolerated?
My answer is that there is nothing positive nor good-feeling about being tolerated. Noth. Ing. How do I know? Because, I am The Tolerated.
As I have learned from experience, you don't always get accepted for thinking your own thoughts, or doing things your way, or not being the same as everyone else, or not wanting to cater to other people's ideals of what life should be when it is your life and not theirs; of course some times you do get accepted, but not always, nor often.
For most of my life (approximately 92%) I have felt as though the mass of people around me tolerate me for who I am and put up with me in spite of it all; they don't necessarily celebrate or appreciate me for being what I am (subjectively speaking of course).
It's as if I'm a dirty little secret that stays hidden without approval, until a majority consensus is reached that the dirty little secret is acceptable by trending standards. Sure, it could all be in my mind, but what isn't all in someone's mind? Everything is in people's minds. And does that mean I don't have a right to examine what's in my mind just because it's in my mind? Sheesh. That's what writing is all about.
I am not writing this as a pity piece. I am writing this to share what it feels like to be tolerated and to provide a dissenting voice against tolerance based on firsthand experience, because not everybody may know. While it sounds wonderful in theory to tolerate that which you do not like, the reality is it doesn't feel good to be The Tolerated.
Think on it: Would you feel good if you went to a job every day where coworkers tolerate and put up with you? Would you feel good spending time with anyone who must tolerate and put up with you? When they tolerate you they don't necessarily want you, or accept you, or like you, or include you, or support you, or understand you, or love you; they just tolerate and put up with you. Just like people put up with flatulence.
Pardon my dissent, but I don't want to be the flatulence that others have to tolerate. I prefer to remove myself than to settle for putting up with being tolerated by others. I want to be wanted, and accepted, and liked, and included, and supported, and understood, and loved, and many other things before being tolerated.
Did you notice that in the definition? The word 'tolerate' has absolutely nothing to do with acceptance or appreciation or understanding or love; and none of these words have anything to do with free will, which is a whole separate issue as to whether or not a person is free to tolerate another or love another, or if they are forced to do so out of peer pressure from media outlets and busybodies. But I digress.
So, now, once more with foundation behind the question: Why should anyone put up with being tolerated? That's right, they shouldn't.
Rather, people should be where they are loved, and accepted, and appreciated, and celebrated, and wanted, and understood, and liked, and included, and supported; and they shouldn't tolerate settling for anything less.
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