The Leaning Tower of Tolerance

As I analyze further into the many conceptualizations of the meaning of the word tolerance, I am most struck by the medical connotation, (unresponsiveness to an antigen that normally produces an immunological reaction). It seems in this case, the entity receiving treatment must experience repeated dosages over time to build up an immunity, in which case this would mean that the dosage or stimulus is foreign to the body. What does this mean to lean on a word like tolerance that marginalizes groups that are perceived “outside the body”?

When my students give excuses for why they don’t have their work, I begrudgely tolerate this display. I have found my evaluations fare better when I am compassionate (An awareness of the suffering of others and a wish to relieve that suffering) as opposed to tolerant. What I am trying to express here with the use of the word begrudge (resentful) is that there is a reaction of emotion that surges when my students make excuses, because for the life of them, I want them to be academically exceptional. So is being tolerant a process? Or for that matter being compassionate?

As a result of societal influences, I standby until the mathematical connotation of tolerance are no longer the case in the world we live in – Whereas, human beings are looked at as being a variation from a standard (normal). Me thinks God created us each and everyone perfect.

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~ by Abeni El-Amin on September 26, 2010.