We Love Others for Their Differences
Coming to Loras College has opened the door to a variety of new scenarios in which tolerance is necessary. To me, tolerance is the ability to love someone for who they are, even if you don’t relate with them in particular ways. I have had the privilege of being able to attend Catholic schools my entire life who practice my faith. Because of where I grew up, I have mostly been surrounded by a predominately white community who share similar beliefs as I. College has given me exposure to lots of people who I differ from in ways I have never experienced before. As a result, I have had to adjust my understanding to know that not everyone shares the same religious beliefs as me, not everyone has the same culture as me, not everyone has the same sexual orientation as me, and more. This has personally not been a very hard thing to do because I am someone who believes you should love everyone for who they are, and especially for the beautiful things that make them different from you.
Pope Francis is quoted with saying, “Love is the only light which can constantly illuminate a world grown dim.” For the world in which we live today, the topic of love displayed by this quote is especially true. Our world is beautifully diverse in many ways, defining who we are as a people. The communities to which we belong are in many cases the product of centuries of conflict and, therefore, have moved towards increasing homogeneity.
History contains plentiful amounts of genocides and discrimination, including recently with the Tutsi people in Rwanda and the Rhohingya Muslims in Burma, that show the pain and suffering that comes from an extreme lack of being tolerant. Tolerance is vital for our survival as a human race. Without tolerance we would be reduced to a collection of individuals, each out for him or herself. Isolated viewpoints would be so strong that we would not be able to share love, a result of our desire for worldly perfection by similarity of self. In contrast, the beauty of tolerance can be witnessed through our ability to live together and love each other because of our differences.
It can be seen that the United States has come a long way in learning acceptance as a result of pain and discrimination. From race, to sexual orientation, all the way to our youth, America has better learned how to be tolerant of itself. However, society still struggles with acceptance of each other today in numerous ways. Movements as a result of violence in relation to minority groups are a prominent piece of our recent history as a nation. Acts of change such as Gun Control, Black Lives Matter, LGBT Rights, and more have shown America’s recent struggle with tolerance, and is something that can be fixed by simply learning how to love. Tolerance is only present when one can love a person for who they are, not just accepting their presence, but loving them as human beings and admiring the beauties behind their differences.