I have become increasingly aware of how we are now more tolerant of intolerance. There is a myth that prevails that as a nation we are a very tolerant people. That we are accepting of people who are difference to who and that we are a welcoming people. That hasn’t been my experience. Not that I have experienced intolerance personally but I see it increasingly in social media, in the news and society as a whole. Often we are not aware that we being intolerant towards other people, whether it be the colour of the skin, religion, sexuality or social status but then something gives it away in the things we comment on, give the thumbs or post on social media.
I Dare You!
An example of tolerating intolerance is some of the posts I see on Facebook from people I know. One example is a picture of a bacon sandwich, the pictures states “I actually had this reported on my timeline as being offensive!! Is it? How many people dare to like and share it?” This post is designed firstly to imply that some religious groups have complained about a bacon sandwich. The Islamic and Judaism religions considers pigs to be unclean therefore they do not consume any products from a pig including ham, bacon and pork sausages. Also bear in mind that vegetarians and vegans would not eat meat either. But the first purpose of this post is to put a division between people.
The next part asks you to consider if it is offensive and the answer is going to be of course it isn’t offensive to you. What you might be thinking is “How dare anyone report this post?” that is where the offence will come into it. I don’t find a picture of a bacon sandwich to be offensive, but if I did I would just hide it from my time line or delete it as any reasonable person would.
The last part is daring you to share or like the picture, by doing this it is spreading the message of division and intolerance even further stirring up hatred and anger towards people who don’t hold the same views. If we do share things like that all we are doing is pushing a racist agenda to other people.
Was anyone reported for sharing this picture according to Snoops Fact Checker (click on the link to view the article) no one was reported for the post. The post itself was designed to make people react in someway to it.
The Bigger Picture
Whether you are a creationist or an evolutionist we have to agree that man came from somewhere. If you are a Creationist then you would say that God created Man (Mankind). In the case of an Evolutionist you would say that Man (Mankind) evolved from single a single cell that replicated itself until it became a person, crawled out of the slime on to the earth and evolved into what is now Mankind. From both these perspective the idea is that we came from one source and within that source was the genetic code for every ethnicity in the world. The things that really separates us are our beliefs, ideas, imaginary borders and opinions. If we take away these things from just a moment we will see that no matter where we live or what we look like then we are the same species, the human race, Mankind. So why do we think that because someone looks different, or believes something different to us or lives in a different place to is either better or less significant than us?
One Small Step
One of the most memorable moments of my life was when I was a child on holiday with my family at Butlins, that was July the 20th 1969 and I was 12 years old. I was sitting in the television room watching a grainy image of the first moon land on a black and white tv. I remember the words Neil Armstrong as he stepped down off the ladder from the moon lander onto the surface of the Moon. He said “Thats one small step for a man, one giant leap for the united States of America”. Actually we know he never said that he actually said “That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind”. when Neil Armstrong stepped out onto the Lunar surface he was representing the achievements of mankind.
When we move away from the earth we really get a picture of who we really are. We are inhabitants of a ball suspended in a vast solar system that we have named Earth which is within a vast universe that we have not yet explored. My hope is that if we ever do get out there to explore the universe is that we never meet a civilisation that we will treat us as we have treated each other over the past thousands of years. Who will treat us with contempt because we maybe different to them or that we have ideas, lifestyles and beliefs to them.
Growing Up in the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s
Growing up in the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s i saw a lot of racism, sexism and hostility towards gay people. We laughed at the jokes and sketches on TV. We mocked people using stereotypes. We called people by unkind and disrespectful names. In the 90’s and 00’s we appeared to grow up a little as a society and nation. My dearest wish is that we never go back to those times but that we move forward as a people who are kind, considerate, tolerant and inclusive.