Our world is getting only more full of people and more interconnected. So in a way, this means our world is actually becoming smaller—we all are being thrust into contact with various types of people, cultures, and behaviors. And this all means that, if we hope to continue living in a smoothly functioning society, each of us must attempt not only to be tolerant of different people and cultures, but also to grapple with the question of what it means to be tolerant.
Having taken some time to do both, I’ve come to some conclusions about what tolerance means to me. First, it involves keeping in mind the humanity of our peers. We must remember that the interests of real people—who, like us, have feelings, goals, friends, families—are at stake when we make many of our choices. These choices can either help other people, or harm them.