Tuesday, 18 June 2013

And, In the Bigger Picture

I just hammered this out in a torrent:


It goes way beyond food. You saw my blog about gourds the other day. You've seen me rant about this before.

Maybe you saw me post this on Facebook too:

It's all the same thing. No, it IS. Think about it.

It all comes down to an infantile attitude that "my tastes are right, yours are wrong".

It is one of the few things that can make me angry, because this is the home of prejudice. This is where hate grows.

It may sound silly when I am discussing it in reference to food, or music, or something mundane like these, but you see if the attitude is there, it's there. It begins with stamping your foot because not everyone likes your tastes in jazz, and if not checked there, it can lead to other intolerances.

I know, it's tough to listen to your teenager's music sometimes. And it's your house, you have a right to tell him to turn it out down (or off). You have no requirement to like it. What you can stop yourself doing, however, is telling him his tastes are garbage. Not only does this teach him to behave the same way (which is rude), you are, in a way, saying that he is "wrong", by having poor taste. There is nothing good coming from these statements. You may be lucky enough to have a kid with such high self-esteem that he shrugs it off. Or you may do serious harm. Whatever, it won't benefit anyone.

And...kid? Listen to me. If your mother derides your music, get over yourself. Don't use that as a reason to go around poking fun at the tastes of others. Treat others the way you wish to be treated yourself. Part of growing up is understanding that we are all different, and that DIFFERENT IS GOOD.

This sneering at the tastes of others masks a fear. Fear of the different goes back to our distant wild ancestry when "other" meant danger. It's a sort of survival instinct. But so is carrying fire with you wherever you go, and I don't see you doing that. Now, in our modern world, with many generations of the exchange of different ideas, and exposure to other ways of doing things, there is absolutely no excuse for objecting to "different". Today, we have learned to live together, with tolerance.

Except we haven't.

This is not going to be a long discussion, this is just me saying to you CUT IT OUT. I don't care how young or old you are, how poorly or well-educated you are. I don't care how much luck or privilege you've had or haven't had. I absolutely don't give a damn about what some ancient book says, so don't even bother. There are 7 billion of us on a very small planet, and we all have to get along. It is a matter of life or death and nothing less.

You don't have to like everything. Nobody does. This isn't about changing your preferences. They are yours, and you have a right to be different too. No, it's about live and let live. Tolerance, as I have explained until I am blue in the face, is not about lowering your standards, or compromising your morality. It's about accepting that others don't share yours. It's that simple. What's your problem?

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