A. When you see intolerance rising in the society, you would realise that:
1. “Intolerance” at a large-scale would have more than one facet, so it would have variety of ‘flavors’
2. To manifest on a wide scale, it must be not only widely spread but also deeply rooted. Think about a large tree as an analogy.
3. What you see at a societal level is an average. While in some places/instances it would be weaker, elsewhere it must be much stronger than you would ever come across, first hand.
B. Statistically, half the people in the society would believe that the ‘intolerance’ is justified.
C. If you disapprove of the intolerance (you are in the ‘other’ 50%), chances are again 50% that you would do nothing to change it – may be due to apathy, lack of control, or whatsoever. But the society will get no action from you.
D. If you disapprove of the intolerance, and do decide to do something to reduce or prevent it, you are among the 25% of the society. If you think that the way to cure intolerance is by becoming more “tolerant”, chances of your success are abysmal.
E. “Tolerance” is not enough as an antidote to intolerance. To tolerate is just to reconcile yourself with the fact that something exists, and not getting affected by its existence. But you assert that that something is not you, not what you like and what you believe in.
F. Tell me, what do you do when you fall seriously ill? Does your doctor only give you the medicine to make your body tolerant to disease-causing bodies? That would be vaccination in most cases, and would not work at the moment when the disease is raging furiously. What is needed in the moment of a serious illness is to eliminate the cause – as far as possible.
G. Tolerance requires tough drill and begins in the childhood with vaccination, way before the attack by the disease.
H. If that analogy works for you, then in the face of rising intolerance, you must give more than tolerance. That ‘more than’ should go beyond passive acceptance and would need to be actual liking, and love, if you think about the fact that only a fourth of the population is going to act against intolerance and that statistically, there is still 50% chance that you will go all out and still fail.
I. Now think about attitudes and actions by others in your immediate surroundings that you disapprove of, but you have not just tolerated at arm’s-length, but liked, embraced and actually loved.
J. Even if you did something to that effect in the past, it is not enough because the intolerance is staring at you in the face right now.
K. So, break out of the fixation on awards and hit the road. Do something. Demonstrate that you can love something or someone that you disapprove of. Or, forever shut your mouth.