Two Sides of Tolerance: Accepting Others

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I would like to share this piece from someone else’s blog that I enjoyed reading and commented on.

A Quiet Week In The House

Perfume

Not long ago, I enjoyed tea and pastry at my favorite bakery. A woman with dizzying perfume swept into a seat behind me. Her sharp, expensive fragrance slid over my table, invading each sip and bite I took.  Irritation engulfed me. I snatched up my notebooks and stomped across the room to pen a few ill-tempered paragraphs. When my tea tasted good again, I stole a glance at the perpetrator. Slim and sixtyish, she stiffened under my scrutiny.

I expected someone offensive and unlikable–a diabolical, slathering fiend, perfume bottle in hand, ready to shoot pungent fluids at my face.  Instead, a frail and self-conscious senior citizen nibbled a croissant.  Her red-and-black plaid pantsuit radiated as fiercely as her fragrance. She was the kind of woman who applies lipstick with a tiny brush and styles her improbable chestnut hair with precision. In a deserted bakery, she purposely chose the seat closest…

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One thought on “Two Sides of Tolerance: Accepting Others

  1. ere is the response I left on her post:-So powerful and true. I myself as a black woman find myself on the defense all the time when I vacation In places outside my comfort zone. I am on vacation in westbrook and my family are the only people of color here right now. I went to the gym yesterday and there was a woman who kept staring at me and the two boys. I hardened my face thinking she dissaproved of us. When we ended up on the bike side by side where we could see through the glass window of the pool where the boys were having a great time, she bent over and said to me with a genuine smile ,” I don’t think you are going to get the boys out of the pool today, they are having an amazing time.” She further went on to tell me how much she enjoys seeing kids being able to be free and be themselves. Though I responded with a smile, It felt stiff as I I felt guilty in assuming she was not pleased to see people of color there. She was just enjoying the playfulness and laughter of the kids. The fact is, life experiences shape us and unfortunately robs us of building positive relationships with good people whether in friendships or intimate relationships.

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