Why I Don’t Like the Word Tolerate.

Before everyone becomes angry with me about why I don’t like this word, please read the whole blog post. If you still disagree with me on my thoughts. Just let me know in the comments what you think.

First let us look at the definition of tolerate.

tolerate definition



It is the first part of the definition that bothers me. This “to allow (something that is bad, unpleasant).” For me it has such a negative connotation (definition- an idea or feeling that a word invokes in addition to its literal or primary meaning)  as though we are only dealing with it because it is society norm, we don’t want to look bad, etc.

When people are just tolerating one another, they are being fake. And being fake causes a lot more problems than needed.

We see it all the time. Politicians, celebrities, our bosses, co-workers, and yes even friends we think we know them, we think they are good people, than we learn about their racist, homophobic, sexist, or some other form of hateful ideology.

How come we didn’t see this sooner? They seemed really nice towards a diverse group of people. They were always very tolerant of other cultures and beliefs.

Again they tolerate an individual, doesn’t make them compassionate people filled with love and understanding. They can believe that other races are bad or unpleasant, they can believe being gay is bad or unpleasant, they can believe being a different religion is bad or unpleasant. They just tolerate them and “allow” them to live in the same world. And that is a somewhat of a problem.

It is a problem for the reason that sometimes people who tolerate don’t always openly discriminate another individual. As a result, they can disguise their reasons why that person didn’t get a promotion, a raise, a job, an A in a class, served at a restaurant, etc. More and more people say they are tolerant and that we should promote tolerance, but I am for promoting something else.

I am for promoting compassion and understanding.

We must learn to understand one another. Understanding is the key to solving a lot of problems or at least the key to being on our way to make the world better. We must also learn to have compassion. With having compassion, people will want to help others and help make the world better.

compassion def understand defin

Both understanding and compassion can be taught, it is up to all of us to teach each other what it means to be compassionate and understanding.  We must be compassionate and understanding toward each other, that is how we can teach other how to be compassionate and understanding.

Does being tolerant teach either of these things? In my opinion it does not. It just teaches us to deal with each other in a civil apathetic manner if we have different beliefs or ideologies. As a result it does not teach us to help each other out or to be there for each other. With how bad things are in this world, we all need to be compassionate and understanding with each other?

What do you think of the word tolerate? Does if have a negative connotation for you? If not tolerate, what word has a negative connotation for you?

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