Monday, April 16, 2012

What Is Tolerance?

Ms. Lisa Carmona, the faculty advisor and chaperone, was the main reason Shawna wanted to attend the weekend conference. She was enthralled by the woman's strong personality, self-confidence, and worldly wisdom. While eating, Ms. Carmona took advantage of a teachable moment. A sophomore Shawna had met in the van on the drive down, commented that she was confused when she heard people talking about tolerance. It seemed to have two different meanings.

"Tolerance is the highest of all virtues because it acknowledges and celebrates the personal rights and values of every individual. It is misunderstood because fundamentalists and bigots in our culture have improperly defined it" said Ms Carmona. "So what's the right definition?" the sophomore asked. "The virtue of tolerance is based on the reality that everyone is equal in value. Nobody at this table is any better than anyone else, right?" The girls nodded on cue.
"That's right. We're different from each other in a lot of ways, but we're all equal in value."

Shawna could not argue with Ms. Carmona so far. She had heard the same thing in Sunday school and youth group for years: Jesus loves the little children, all the children of the world. Red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in his sight. Jesus loves the little children of the world. (To Be Continued)

No comments: