Tolerance important during holidays

Jordyn Didier, Editor-in-Chief

Tolerance: sympathy or indulgence for beliefs or practices differing from or conflicting with one’s own; the definition given by Merriam Webster Dictionary. It should be a simple and easy process to accept that others are different from us and that everyone is his or her own person, but that is not always how it works out in reality.

Unfortunately, it seems to be a part of human nature to judge others based on looks, interests, religion, race and age; anything and everything causes prejudice. It is a sad mentality that society shares over the fact that people cannot accept others for who they are. Society pushes for conformity; yet at the same time our country stands on the basic freedoms that provide us with the choice to be who we want to be and to celebrate that difference.

Different ideals should be celebrated, but society seems to push people to act in the same way; even if it does not realize that fact. We look different and act differently, but still surround ourselves with people just like us-people with the same basic beliefs and ideals  on the same subjects instead of branching out and talking to someone who would oppose our opinions.

Tolerance of different religions could be one of the most important forms needed. People should not try to convert others or force them to consider themselves as a part of any religion if they do not want to be. It is unfair and takes away the freedom of religion established as a constitutional right. All religions are acceptable. It does not matter that people of different religions have their own beliefs or that they are not the same as everyone else, yet for whatever reason, in society’s eyes it stereotypes them to be a certain personality.

Tolerance is extremely important because problems between different religions go much farther than just upsetting someone. It has been shown to be a factor in wars and hate crimes and many other terrible events that should not have happened in the first place. For example, the Holocaust that happened during World War 2 was one of the major events caused by religious hate. Due to Hitler’s belief that Jews were at fault for Germany losing in the first world war, the Holocaust took millions of innocent lives all because of the prejudice against a different religion.

If people could simply look past their clouded vision of what they believe is right and just talk to someone as a person instead of a religion then the world would be a much better place. Luckily, our school greatly supports the acceptance of all students through the multiple groups offered. There are multiple youth groups here at school such as youth alive and Fellowship of Christian Athletes that provide different religious groups to meet. This year the Muslim Student Association was recently created as well adding even more diversity throughout the student body.

As the holidays come closer, it is no secret that it is “Christmas time” the most common and commercialized holiday throughout the entire year. While at first people do not think about Christmas really being related to religion due to the holiday being dressed up in trees, lights, shopping, music and presents, the reality is that it causes Christianity to be portrayed as the most important religion there is. Obviously, Christianity, while celebrated by a large number of people, is no more important than any other religion.

During the holidays, remember that it is not all about Christmas and that there are plenty of other holidays being celebrated as well, such as Chanukah and Kwanzaa,  during this time that are associated with other religions. People should be celebrated for what they believe in and not shunned because they are different. That is what this time of year is all about in the first place is being around the people we care about and not judging them by what separates them from the majority.