Archived Letter – 555

Tolerance and Understanding
By Garrison McCleary

“Tolerance isn’t about growing a thick skin and putting up with others, because that is intrinsically condescending. Rather, tolerance is about learning to accept and welcome what you don’t understand.” – Nick Reid 2013

Interesting? When my friend posted this on Facebook the other day, I had to sit down and remind myself that this was the same kid I grew up with and then it got me thinking.
We all live in a world in which people are taught to hate, chastise and segregate based on individual and communal beliefs that are contradictory to our own. This has become perfectly acceptable in our culture. We are complete products of our environment. In a world that is ever changing, with the development of social globalism, an increase in immigration and multiculturalism, we continue to be resistant to the fact that our world is brought together by the simple fact that we are all Humans, no matter our creed, sexual orientation, ethnic background, etc. We are all part of a worldwide Human race.
When I look at the world and see the hate that ravages societies and the human spirit, I can’t help but notice that commonality that we share. Humans have a role intrinsically important in the development of a peaceful and bountiful world. We also have the capacity to muck it up.
The PQ government in Canada’s province of Quebec has sent a firm message of how ridiculous the ignorance of simple facts can be and how even in the 21st century we can hear the echoes of a once segregated and discriminatory government oppressive state. The Quebec Charter of Values ( condemns the use of religious symbols by public servants (police officers, provincial clerks and secretaries etc.). This piece of legislation, which conflicts with the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, limits our society and patronizes every religious minority. The precedent that this legislation would set if passed, could lead to extreme segregation and elimination of all cultural and ethnic traditions, which make Canada such an interestingly diverse country.
If any Canadian sympathizes with this legislation, or even worse, supports it, I ask that you look within yourself to muster the courage to walk towards truth, the truth of freedom over constraint, the truth that was entrenched in our constitution as the fundamental rights for every human.
We, as humans, as the people of this world, can no longer sit idly and watch as our sisters and brothers fight for their freedom. Our freedom cannot be justified, if the freedom of others is in peril.

Garrison McCleary