Chapter 20. What Diversity Can Teach Us: Lessons in Tolerance

As my children can attest, one of the guiding principles I hold dear—one of the traits I strive to consistently demonstrate—is that of tolerance and acceptance of others. Something judicious deep at my core perpetually convicts me that my role in life does not include providing a rule book or even a suggestion book for others. I may share my thoughts and the lessons I've learned along the way—as I have in this book—but when the last sentence is written and the chapters are complete, I will walk away knowing that these are merely my experiences and thoughts. And I'll be okay if yours are different.

What I've surmised over my years on this earth is that the greater your interactions with diversity, the greater your capacity—and desire for—tolerance. Being around such a myriad of humanity—first on the oval at Ohio State University, and later during my travels—has revealed to me that we are all nomads on this journey of life. We are all seeking love and affirmation and acceptance. We strive to make meaning through faith and spirituality. We live, most of us, hoping to show kindness and find joy. Those things make us similar and give our global community common ground.

It also seems to me that tolerance and exposure are directly related: Folks who surround themselves with all walks of life tend to be a little more self-aware and softened to absolutes. Those who infrequently encounter others with different mind-sets, lifestyles, ...

Get Weaving Dreams: The Joy of Work, The Love of Life now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from nearly 200 publishers.