This morning I read a short article in the NY Times that got me thinking again about tolerance, “At the Intersection of Synagogue and Boardwalk, a Feud.” The author writes about the last Synagogue on Venice Beach, which is next to a store that sells tee shirts, string bikinis and undergarments; apparently there have been problems between the store and the Synagogue.

On Tuesday a friend of mine, Mike, and I attended joined a local Toastmasters chapter. The table talk topic was racisim and how to deal with it.

And I almost forgot about an article I happened to read in the NY Times last week, “The Way We Live Now: 8-06-00: The Ethicist; Tattoo You,” where a Jewish anesthesiologist finds a patient on his table with a Nazi flag tattoo on his arm – he wondered what his ethics should be.

And as I reflected on that set of topics, and on the article above, I come back again to the concept of tolerance. I believe its impossible to fully remove our biases and initial reactions, but it is possible to be more tolerant of other opinions and ways of life. Of course, this is made much harder because we believe that we’re right; our opinions are of course perfect and without flaw. Hopefully, you’ve read that and believe it (although I’m sure there are some that don’t).

We have a lot to learn from each other, even when the cultures clash significantly. But, we need to share time to talk and listen and reflect.


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