Impossible Dream

March 29, 2009
By Anonymous

Is tolerance possible? Sadly, I think not. Tolerance means patience and understanding of other peoples’ race, culture, or religion. It is also accepting people for who they are. Tolerance can be achieved, but only if people are willing to change. Unfortunately, some people just are not willing to change the way they live and act. Sometimes it is harder to be tolerant of someone who is different. People have not learned from history. No matter what people have done to each other in the past, I think there will always be hate and intolerance, and we will not learn from these mistakes. The Museum of Tolerance had a lot of examples of intolerance in history. The Nazis in Germany were intolerant not only of Jewish people, but also Catholics, Jehovah’s Witnesses, homosexuals, and people with disabilities. Even though this was so awful, intolerance still happens around us today in big events and little ones, too.

The Museum of Tolerance was a great place to learn. There were exhibits about the Holocaust, racial prejudice in the 1960s and the genocide in Africa that is happening now. These were terrible exhibits, but it was not what I remember the most. The worst part was for me was the room that had all of the news headlines about hate crimes happening every day, here in the United States. There were stories about big hate crimes that included violence and smaller ones that involved bullying and teasing. This shows that some people just do not care about accepting other peoples’ differences. I think it is the bullying and teasing that is bad because it is the beginning of bigger acts of intolerance and hate.
Most people who are bullied were victims themselves. Adolf Hitler was bullied as a child. Instead of learning how bad it was to be a target, he blamed other people who were different in their religion for his problems. This turned to hate, and the hate turned him into a mass murderer. I think that this will always be true, even if it is not something as terrible as the Holocaust. Most people who are in gangs or in hate groups are doing these things to feel important because they feel bad about themselves. They may have a bad home life, a violent family or are poor. Other times people are just doing mean things to get attention or because they want to be popular.

From what I have witnessed in my life so far, people, starting at a young age, are intolerant of others. When I was younger, I got teased a lot. I remember in fifth grade, I had some problems in school, especially in reading. We were reading in groups and I could not read the book. Some of the kids in the group started teasing me. I felt so bad! Now that I think about it, the kid who made fun of me the most was really bad in math. I think it is ironic that he made fun of me, and he had problems, too.
Everywhere you go, you can witness intolerance. It doesn’t matter if it is something small like in school, or something really serious like hate groups- it is there. I think everyone can be intolerant at times. They might think they are neither making a joke, but it is not a joke. Mean words can hurt as much as hitting. I wish I could say that tolerance can be a reality, but I think this is just a dream.

The author's comments:
I had an assignment after visiting the Museum of Tolerance. We had to write about whether we thought tolerance could be achieved. In my experience, it can't and that is really sad!I hope to be proved wrong.

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