Tolerance: Why Does It Even Matter
By, Paulette Mahurin
The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap
First let me give a big heartfelt thank you to the great blog site, Reviews That Bite, for hosting me for this interview. I’m so happy to be here.
Since the subject matter of my book is intolerance, bullying another for their nature, I thought it’d be a good thing to take a look at what tolerance is. I know that I can always go deeper, look deeper, on that subject, for I often see things arise in me that are definitely intolerant, if I am to be very honest with you here.
I see the way someone dresses or acts and I think to myself, how could you do that? Or wear that? Or be that? Be that? Are you kidding me! If someone judges me, or worse tries to change something about me, unless it’s constructive toward relationship building and my betterment coming from someone who loves and knows me (but come on it is usually someone judging and wanting to change me, for the most part), if someone does that to me, I’m up in arms. Yet, when I do it, it feels right. I feel, and believe, I’m right. Boy do I have a strong ego; it creates reality out of thin air, instead of simply accepting what is.
What I’m trying to say is, I’m human. We all are and we all do this. We judge yet come out with ridiculous statements like, I don’t judge, I’m not judgmental, then we spew out, okay I spew out, things that are so judgmental and when I’m called on it, I defend why I’m not doing it. In writing this book, I saw a lot of this in myself, especially while writing about Josie, the hate filled rumor mongering bitch, who can’t keep her mouth shut, and what comes out of it is ignorant babble. I also see myself in Gus, the voice of tolerance and wisdom, I see how I want to open more, be more accepting, love more, and I also see how that is selfish because in opening I feel better, more alive.
When I started researching my book, the inspiration for the driving force of the story line, Oscar Wilde’s imprisonment, was always near at heart. He was my reminder, my metaphor, of the injustice of intolerance, all housed in beliefs, in laws, in narrow mindedness, all with roots of hatred for what is, another’s nature, that can no more change than a dog can not wag its tail. If we are to believe that God created all under the heavens and sun, then how could it be that there are creations that just aren’t right, not okay, less than human? Seems to me, this has to stem from some culturally based false belief, that gets passed down lifetimes after lifetimes, so by the time I’m into that belief, it feels real to me. Reality is created by thoughts, beliefs, and world viewpoints. If I think that guy likes me and fantasize over how I know he wants me, a reality is created inside of me. The brain doesn’t really know the difference between a thought and what’s actually happening, it secretes its chemicals, creating emotions, and man that is real. I believe I’m being rejected and it feels bad. That’s real and I’m feeling it.
If I believed Oscar Wilde was evil, or wrong, or acting illegally because he was a Gay man, then my mind is going to work it out to make it seems so. But what about what is accurate? Who among us would want to be prevented from loving? From intimacy, from the one we love? No one. It’s one of the most basic human needs from time and memorial, right along with our need to eat, drink, breathe, and if we had a switch or choice why would be chose devastation, humiliation, labeling that puts one in jail and kills? This has been the debate over sexual preference for decades, is it nature or nurture? The abundant view is nature. And, with this I agree. I agree and feel that Oscar Wilde did what came naturally, and in doing so, acting through what he could no more prevent than can a leaf from taking in carbon dioxide to survive, an ice cube melting in the sun, a fire’s warmth, all things of nature, and so what’s left is my fundamental question, can I tolerate it? Can I accept what is, see my insides resisting and wanting to change it, and breathe in a new possibility, that it is different, and I’m okay with different, because different is not bad, it’s just different. After all, aren’t we all different?
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