There is something to be said for tolerance.
There have been several examples of expanding tolerance in our country as of late.
Last month, the Boy Scouts took an incremental step toward acceptance of homosexuals in their ranks, allowing openly gay boys to participate in their organization.
Cheerios too tried to move forward and acknowledge the changing landscape of families by depicting an interacial family in a recent commercial. The ad was generally harmless — focusing primarily on the cereal makers claim that they sell a heart-healthy product. But, the brand took it in the teeth from some who found the commercial offensive.
The hatred expressed in response to the advertisement caused Cheerios to request the comment section on YouTube be shut down. Spokesmen said the decision was made because some of the comments were no longer “family friendly.”
Why, in 2013, is tolerance still an issue?
Since the beginning of time, intolerance for those who are different from us has existed. It is us versus them, though the “us” and “them” have changed many, many times over the eras.
This isn’t to say that everyone has to agree on everything — that some people cannot believe that actions other people take are wrong.
But when those actions do not harm you or your loved ones, tolerance, by its very definition, means sympathy for beliefs or practices differing from our own. It means reserving your judgement and appreciating the differences among us and the strengths we all bring to the table.
It turns out, a majority of the American public is, in fact, tolerant. According to some ad research, the Cheerios ad garnered attention and likeability scores that were 9-11 percent above the norm for cereals.
The ad itself had more than 2.7 million views as of Thursday afternoon on YouTube and the fact that Cheerios did not remove the 30-second spot from its marketing plan shows the support they’ve had from the average consumer.
The YouTube sight also showed that the video had more than 35,500 “thumbs up” and less than 2,000 “thumbs down.”
“At Cheerios,” one spokesman said, “we know there are many different kinds of families, and we celebrate them all.”
Go beyond tolerance. Find acceptance.