Tolerance is one thing. Acceptance is another.
Toleration is controversial in itself, it places those who happen to be different from me in the basket of aberration. Take dogs, for example.
I can’t pretend enthusiasm for these creatures but I’ve always understood that they have their place in the world. It just happens to be a different place than my own. It’s easy to be tolerant of the other when you don’t have to deal with them on a daily basis and you’re aware that you are the norm and they are the exception.
But to accept them as equals? As playing a role in society which is as valid as my own role? Now that takes a quantum leap.
I’ve written on co-existence with dogs before, most notably in Cats and Dogs in Harmony, offering sage advice to people who want to avoid bloodshed in their living room and pointing out in my typical brutal honesty that I would never recommend a doberman. Nature and selective breeding aimed for agility, speed and strength here and, in doing so, dobermans ended up most lamentably short in the intellect department.
But there is always an exception that proves the rule. In my travels through cyberspace I met Evgeni the Dutch Doberman and I have to admit that he caused me to reconsider my views. I am not afraid to admit I was wrong!
Evgeni is not only able to sustain his own online presence with a blog, he is capable of recognising the worth in other species. Yes, I have been humbled by a doberman with greater tolerance than I have, a true acceptance of others.
When Evgeni requested an interview with me my eyes were opened. But please, make up your own mind.
P.S. This does not mean I will tolerate the constant neurotic yapping of the West Highland Terrier next door. One day I will kill him.