Tuesday, November 24, 2015

A Lesson In Tolerance

   unwillingness to accept views, beliefs, or behavior that differ from one's own
 synonyms: bigotry, narrow-mindedness, small-mindedness, illiberality, parochialism, provincialism

It's not as much about unwillingness to accept different views or beliefs, it is more about unwillingness to understand before judging. And for all the fuss about intolerance, I think FB is a great teacher for tolerance: it patiently teaches one to be tolerant of all this exhausting drama and debate about it. 

Earlier this year, I penned a pretty sarcastic post when I saw an upsetting excerpt of the documentary covering the infamous Delhi rape case convict. When I wrote that, I assumed that for anyone with a fair understanding of the English language, it would be clear that the note called out the fakes who use culture and religion to defend their own twisted version of it. 

As it turned out, I couldn't have been more wrong. Most of my FB "friends" read it very selectively - like all other words blurred out, and they saw only "religion", "culture", "bad" (oh, and "aamir khan"?) pop up at them, and in their mind the equation was simple: "this note == insulting indian culture and heritage". And I was called out for disrespecting a great nation and its cultural values. 

That was my first taste of my take on "intolerance" on social media, although given the reactions I have seen elsewhere, I must say that I got off easy! I mean, really now- I could have been called "a liberal", "a feminist" (did you notice that these were not considered insults for the longest time!). Or worse - I  may have been asked to go be a citizen of countries that don't offer as much liberty of freedom and opinion. 

So now, I prefer not airing my views on social media, because I simply don't think most people reading my comments or posts have the maturity to entertain a thought other than theirs - they have already decided not to agree with it actually. No point inadvertently exposing myself to people who believe that being on social media automatically gives them the (birth)right to judge everyone and everything around. 

This constant propaganda for or against political/movie celebrities is tiresome. Mind you, I have no sympathy for shrewd "businessmen" who make the most of a sensitive topic simply for the sake of trending. But I am just plain bored of this repeated bombardment of similar, heavily opinionated forwards and posts. I am in half mind to just go off FB because my news feed just keeps getting more and more annoying, but I stay here to keep in touch with those 10 people who I know are worth the drama of the rest of the 90, and I am secretly hoping that the capacity of those 90 people for drama is not as much as what it seems like right now. 

It is not really the country that's becoming intolerant, is it? It is us - you and I and everyone else. Please let's stop blaming the "country" as if it is a nameless bystander who can be conveniently blamed for everything that is not going the way that "we" would like to go. 

And I admit that I, too, am intolerant - intolerant of all this unnecessary and cyclic debate. 

PS: The image above is a real screenshot that I took of Google as I searched for the word "intolerance" .. 


Blogger 葉采妮 said...

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