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To be completely honest I'm not entirely sure what to do with this- it seems like one venting place too many, since I have livejournal.com, a REAL journal, and now this . . . but I've plenty of things to say (whether they're intelligent or not is beside the point), so what the heck.

Let's see . . . yesterday world religions class really ticked me off. Our usual teacher wasn't here, so we had a sub that had no idea what she was doing. Fortunately, our teacher had anticipated this, and installed one of our classmates as 'moderator' of the discussion for that day. Unfortunately, the moderator was not able to control the chaos that ensued.

There was one boy sitting in the corner moaning because he wasn't listened to, and that when he was listened to, he was inevitably disagreed with, so when we asked him his opinion on the matter at hand, he completely sidetracked the discussion, deliberately misinterpreting the question. There was another boy who was telling any one who dared open their mouths that they were wrong, no matter what they said. The discussion ended up being held mainly by the moderator and the boy that thought everyone was wrong. Keep in mind, this is a class of high school seniors. Depressing, isn't it?

What's even more depressing is that the boy who was so argumentative and irascible is my closest friend, and . . . I'm just surprised that he could be so impatient and, well, rude. He didn't even wait for the person to finish their sentence, he just cut in to say 'You're wrong', and never explained why. It's very depressing when you think you know somebody really well and then they turn out to be COMPLETELY different from what you thought.
Reflecting over this whole incident made me realize several things. First of all, tolerance is vital for a community to survive. Watching those two boys battle with the class made me realize that if all of society was like this, we'd be in a complete shambles. But tolerance isn't easy. I don't know how to attain it, I haven't seen that much of the world, so I donít know all that much compared to some people, but I'm going to try anyway. One lesson I've learned over the years is that sure, you can get satisfaction out of hating someone and being annoyed with them for their faults, but in the end, it feels pretty rotten and doesnít do anything for you or for them. It feels much better to be able to understand people the way they understand themselves. For me, to be honest, it feels better for a purely selfish reason- I figure that if I can understand someone the way they want to be understood, maybe someone will be able to do the same for me.

The second lesson I learned is that I can never assume that I know another person completely. No matter how many hours I've spent talking with them, no matter how many years I've known them, there's going to be a part of them that won't know. When I find out something about them that I never knew, I just have to take that new bit of knowledge in stride and adjust my glasses, understanding all the while that, most of the time, it's not in my position to judge them for their faults. Ideally, I should focus on their values and appreciate them for those rather than zoning in on their faults and criticizing them for every little thing they do wrong.

What a world it would be if we could all be tolerant of each other and learn not to judge others. This has been said so many freakiní times, so many people realize that itís the way the world should go, why couldnít we work on achieving that ideal?

Now Iím starting to sound like Pollyanna, so Iím going to shut up now.



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