Stop Tolerating Everything

Forced tolerance has made us dishonest, ruined relationships, and has pushed people away later in life.


Emma Harris

People not saying what they are thinking can make them tolerate to poor behavior and make relationships more shallow than deep.

Tolerance has been a very apparent concept ever since 1992, when it started being taught in schools. defines tolerance as being patient, understanding and accepting of anything different, and they define intolerance as opposed to the inclusion or participation of those different from oneself, especially those of a different racial, ethnic, or social background. More recently, society has taken the definition of tolerance too literal. Our society pushes accepting everything different no matter what, even if it should not be accepted. For example, if someone reeked of BO, someone should say something. Tolerance is getting to the point of being dishonest. Saying someone is healthy when they are obese is tolerating their bad eating habits, which can hurt them over time.

First, students were taught at a young age that being kind is saying nice things and including people. They were even forced to include each other at recess, and other activities. This has definitely decreased the number of kids excluded, but it has created other problems. Problems come up in relationships, of all areas, of being dishonest to be kind. Most of the time being honest is the kind thing in the end. One can see this in constructive criticism. Constructive criticism is completely pointless if you do not tell the truth. This is the same with relationships. There is no point being friends with people, if you cannot be honest with them. I see this a lot with friendships between girls at WCA. People will compliment each other when someone is there, but as soon as that person is gone there are insults thrown around. This forced tolerance has made people think there is an obligation to be friends with everyone.

It seems that people are too scared to be called out for intolerance, that they over-tolerate bad behavior. They will tolerate people who are toxic, who are troubled, and bad influences because  we were taught to always be kind to people. Again there is no obligation to be friends with everyone even though we were taught to be. You are allowed to not talk to people you do not like, because in reality if you keep people who only bring you down around, it won’t be good. I have seen it with many great people get stressed out, or mentally fed up with all the drama one person causes. People need to start being honest to people they are close to. If your friend group hung out together but did not invite one person, be honest to them. Tell them straight up why. It could be because they are being annoying, or because the host’s mother did not invite them. Finding out why you were really excluded is more hurtful than being told the truth to your face in my perspective. 

Instead of tolerance being drilled into our heads since birth, being honest should be. We were taught that honesty is the best policy, but being “kind” trumps honesty. Our society will grow closer together with stronger bonds if we choose to be honest when it comes to tolerance. One does not need to tolerate the bad behavior of someone, and they have the right to say something. 

A survey of 19 Westinster students, asking if they would rather have everyone be honest all the time, or kind all the time. The question was worded wrong because it made it seem that you cannot be kind when being honest and vice versa. Despite this, 13 students chose for everyone to be honest all the time, and 6 students choose kind. I would make the argument that being honest is kind, but what I was trying to do is show the split of people who would want pure honesty over overly kindness. Everyone being overly kind wouldn’t mean they would lie all the time to be nice, but everytime they would be in a situation of honesty opposing the kind thing to say, they would say the kind thing. It is the same thing with honesty. Being honest all the time does not mean you cannot be kind, but it does mean that when the time comes you will say the honest thing every time. 

To advance as a society, we must start to be more honest with each other and not tolerate so much bad behavior. Being honest will strengthen our relationships with each other. People will become real.