“Right track baby I was born this way,” she sings (Born This Way). “I was born like this,” Min says (I Remember You, ep. 14). “That’s just how I am.” The current flows–“deal with it, because I have.” No! Please, please no. Simply deciding that you cannot–or will not–change yourself presents one of the most enticingly deceptive lies this world can offer.
Love yourself, yes. Accept yourself for what you are, yes–you cannot move on until you have seen the truth of a situation. But never use acceptance as an excuse to stay the same in a wrong situation.
Many good things can be said of tolerance: it often leads to understanding, cooperation and an expanded world-view. But that cannot justify the downsides when taken too far. I am a firm believer in a world of absolutes: any scientist will tell you there are certain laws of physics that cannot be broken. I believe that just as we have unchanging laws of nature there are some moral and ethical laws that must remain absolute–that cannot change. Extending the hand of tolerance too far can lead to an acceptance of things that should never be considered.
Everyone wants someone to accept them for who they honestly are. Everyone wants to feel safe and un-judged by others. But that thought too goes too far when we use their acceptance as an excuse not to better ourselves or extricate fault when we see it. Not everything can be seen as acceptable.
Everything has to begin somewhere, after all. If we accept one view of thinking, why not another? And if they can think think this way, why can’t we do this–sure it’s more extreme, but it’s basically the same thing as the one before, right? Step by step, things change. The Overton window, first discussed by Joseph P. Overton, applies to more than just politics and advertisements. Any human interaction, any reputation or impression can be changed with a proper understanding of how it works. Time and little nudges are all it takes to change a nation from a peace-loving stronghold to a bitter enemy. Acceptance of who you are can lead to a relaxation of improvement. Next time you write something off as ‘oh, that’s just the way they/it/things are’, take a moment to consider–should it continue that way?
Just something I’ve been thinking about–thanks for reading!