Tolerance. Every time I hear that word directed at a child, an adult, a group of people, or any person at all, I cringe. People do not want to be tolerated. You yourself do not want to be tolerated. You tolerate slow traffic, Monday mornings, or the long line at the grocery store, but you do not tolerate people. People want to be loved. You want to be loved. People want to know they matter and that others care about them. Our ability to love and our desire to be loved is what makes us human. It’s at the core of humanity. Why would anyone purposely choose to withhold that from another?
Every day we come across people that do things that annoy us, we don’t agree with, or that make us uncomfortable. It’s the beauty of the diversity of the human race. We can choose to love those people in spite of those things, we can merely tolerate them, or we can do things far worse. It’s when people make a choice other than love, that I remember that humanity is flawed. We are imperfect. But if you think about it, perhaps that is what makes the decision to love all that more powerful. When the choice is made to withhold the thing we long for so deeply from others, I see a missed opportunity. The chance to love presented itself, but was not taken.
I truly believe with all my heart that love is not merely a feeling, but also a choice. We can choose those we give our love to or we can choose to keep it to ourselves. However, when I look at myself and see my own desire for acceptance, care, and unconditional love, I don’t understand why I would sometimes choose to keep my love from anyone. Loving others isn’t always easy, but when we see it as choice, we give ourselves to power love anyway. I’m giving myself the power to love anyway.
I am going to make the decision to love everyone. Unconditionally. You should too.
photo: mhauri (Flickr, Creative Commons)