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It's Time

picture of a rusty alarm clock, with the title: It's Time in white letters.

Artowrk: Trenches by Pawel Kuczynski

Image: Trenches by Pawel Kuczynski 


In our complex, dynamic, and ever-changing world, the path from tolerance to true acceptance requires intentional effort, self-reflection, and a commitment to dismantling barriers. Let’s face it: it is time to put the past behind us. We need a new attitude towards others, especially to those who seem to be most different from ourselves. After all, if we were to scratch beneath the surface, the good old days weren’t that good. They, too, were demanding and uncertain. The time has come to recognize that we must consider thinking and acting differently in order to move beyond the superficial-level of tolerating each other to embrace, accept, and create equity in a world that is constantly reinventing itself.

For too long, we have been advised to be tolerant of differences. In my opinion, that was wrong advice. Tolerance implies a passive coexistence. It’s time to burst the tolerance bubble and replace it with acceptance and appreciation of one another. Obviously, this is not so easy if we rely on the comfort of doing the same old, same old. True acceptance thrives on curiosity. Instead of judging differences, isn’t it time to ask more questions, deeper questions? Most likely, this will lead to new understanding and bring a new richness to our perception. I realize that this may seem like a glided platitude, but I think I’m on the right track. Cultivating a genuine interest in others' stories and experiences might lead us to a new way of interacting with each other and potentially a new way of acting in the world. Bringing this down to the lowest common denominator, we can begin this approach with folks in our immediate circles. Simultaneously, let’s use this same process when we observe what is going on in the world around us.

You can’t move towards acceptance without a commitment to active listening. It requires a conscious effort to listen to and understand others without the filter of preconceived notions. By creating spaces for open dialogue, we build bridges of connection. Actively listening to diverse voices is a powerful catalyst for dismantling stereotypes and fostering mutual understanding and respect.

I don’t know how we can get to accepting the other without knocking down walls. True acceptance demands introspection. We must confront our own unconscious biases and challenge the stereotypes ingrained in our minds. Recognizing and dismantling these biases is a crucial step toward creating an equitable world where everyone is seen and valued for their unique contributions. No, this is not utopia—this is moving towards common sense. 

The journey to acceptance is a collective one, but it demands systemic change. How many years has the world been chanting “War no More,” and "El Pueblo Unido Jamas Sera Vencido," (the people united will not be defeated), but still, what has changed? We must continue to advocate for policies and practices that dismantle discriminatory structures. By actively participating in movements for justice, we contribute to the creation of a world where everyone has equal opportunities and rights. Equity is not achieved without diverse voices at the decision-making table. 

We need to fight our battles with words and practice true listening, not with guns. We need to stop spending trillions on armament, and instead focus on education, housing, healthcare, and childcare. Imagine what our world could be. I’m reminded of the words of social activist Holly Near in her song, 1000 Grandmothers:

Send in the grandmothers

They will surely volunteer

With their ancient wisdom flowing

They will lend a loving ear

First they'll form a loving circle

Around the wounded wing

Then contain the brutal beasts of war

Sweet freedom songs they'll sing


A pipedream? No, it isn’t. Compassion tells us to act. We need to understand that if we want to survive, we need to get started and work on realizing the dream.


With warmest regards,