The Tolerance Card.

The first week of school was a busy one. I tried to get everything ready the night before but come Monday morning we were still at panic stations at 8:30, flying out the door with a chorus of “Put on your jumper!” “Do you have your lunch?” “Where are little E’s shoes?!” I walked little E in to Prep because I didn’t have work through yet that day and I was feeling pretty good that morning, kids dropped off, took J to work and then came home and drank tea as pottered around tidying up.

The wins were that I remembered library day and sports day and people went to school with matching socks and I managed to finish my work most days not long after school drop off so I could help with homework. The losses included Lightroom catalogues that wouldn’t load causing stress for both myself and the boss lady, missing the assembly where A got his award and little E redecorating the bedroom with vomit Wednesday night.

Still, we made it through the week reasonably unscathed, one down; nine to go.

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This week in therapy it was interesting as we were working on self confidence and I had to pick several cards out of a stack all labelled with strengths and decide what mine were.

“Even if you only have a little bit of that. If it resonates even 30% then pull it out.”

I pulled out cards like, “Patience”, “Fairness”, “Creativity” and “Tolerance”. She began the EMDR machine and we explored these strengths and all was great right up until Tolerance when I discovered it made me tense and angry because I tended to associate “Tolerance” with other people being intolerant and basically how the woes of the world seem to stem from everyone thinking their way is the only way. By the end of it I was ready to put Tolerance back in the pack. I realised I’m completely intolerant to intolerance and can I really say I’m tolerant if I have intolerance to intolerant people? Jesus. It was like falling down a rabbit hole.

“Can you not just respect other people for their differing opinions?”

“I don’t know. Because in some instances, absolutely. If I am an omnivore and I’m cooking for a vegetarian friend then I can respect that and not try to sneak some chicken into their dish. But don’t we sometimes HAVE to speak out against others views? I guess it comes down to the ‘Fairness’ card. If someone is getting a raw deal and not being treated the same because of who they are then isn’t it my responsibility to use my voice to help advocate for them? Respecting other people’s opinions won’t help my gay friends get married, it won’t help those in offshore detention, it won’t help my disabled friend who can’t get somewhere because people with no permits parked in the disabled spot. Where is the line in the sand between intolerance of others views and advocating fairness for everyone?”

It’s complicated. Sometimes I think it would be easier if I didn’t care but I don’t know how to stop, I don’t know if I should. I guess my tolerance has limits when it starts seeping into the fairness department.

Here is what I think I’m going to do. I think I’m going to have to put tolerance back in the pack. But I really do think I earned that fairness card. I do think that.

2 thoughts on “The Tolerance Card.

  1. Yes! Exactly this! I abhor intolerance but consider myself an otherwise tolerant person but I think you got it right about it being fairness that really matters.

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