This I Believe

Rachel - State College, Pennsylvania
Entered on April 18, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: tolerance

When asked to write about something I believe in, I realized that I have never really thought about it. I racked my brain for about a week, trying to figure out what I believe in other than the fact that we are born, we live, and we die.

One day last week I was sitting outside of a building on campus where there is a man that preaches the word of God to onlookers as they wait for class. He was speaking about tolerance and how people view tolerance as acceptance. I thought about the word tolerance and how there are so many things in life that we merely tolerate to get by. I believe in tolerance.

Just because we tolerate something, does not mean that we accept it. We tolerate pain and suffering, but we try to better our situation. We tolerate gays and lesbians in our communities, yet we may not befriend them. We tolerate our government when we do not agree with their policies. We tolerate those around us, although we may not like them. Even our bodies become tolerant. With repeated use or exposure, we become less receptive to a foreign substance or an insult. We can have a high tolerance for alcohol or an immunological tolerance for a virus.

I remember as a child my mother would say, I will not tolerate this behavior any longer! She had tolerated the behavior, but she did not deem it acceptable. She would put my brother and I in time out for about 15 minutes and then she would tolerate it again and for another 10 years. During my first year of college, I would have two beers and be three sheets to the wind. It is now my last year, and I can say that my tolerance has skyrocketed.

Think about everything you think you believe or accept. Do you, or do you just tolerate them? I believe in tolerance and that tolerance is our ability to prosper and grow when subjected to something conflicting with our own beliefs.