Nov 30, 2011

Tolerance at the Parks

This tends to come up a couple times every year as various holidays or group days at the parks roll around. Most recently I saw this in relation to Christmas carols being played on Main Street USA as many of them involve Christian religious sentiments. I've seen complaints about Bats Day and Gay Days as well. It seems that tolerance is a skill that many have forgotten.

I find it funny that it is okay to expect people to tolerate you and your beliefs, but no one is required to tolerate or respect the beliefs of others. It's alright for me to expect everyone else to conform to how I feel, but it's not right for others to expect the same of me. How dare they. 

Tolerance, like pretty much everything in life, works both ways. You have no right to expect tolerance of others if you are unwilling to tolerate others. You don't have to agree with others, but you do have to respect their right to believe and live as they do. This applies to life in general, not just events at Disney parks, it was just Disneyland commentary that reminded me of this issue.

There are homosexual people at the parks every single day. The only difference between any given Tuesday and Gay Days is they wear red shirts. That difference isn't forcing you into a lifestyle you don't agree with, so why complain? Playing Christmas music on Main Street doesn't cause you to break any religious vows of your own or change your religious beliefs. If you are that uncomfortable with something, then you should remove yourself from the situation, not require that thousands of others modify their behavior to suit your whims.

That's how it works. Would you think it right for an individual's dislike of something to alter a place you enjoy? No, you'd ask them to either respect the majorities wishes or, if they are so hurt by it, remove themselves. Taking personal responsibility for your own beliefs and feelings can sometimes require the tough decision to leave someplace, even one you otherwise enjoy.

Here's hoping that as the new year approaches, we can all learn a little tolerance and respect and practice it. Disneyland is, after all, the Happiest Place on Earth, for everyone.

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