This hits home. Especially around the holidays, a school’s position on the “Tolerance vs. Acceptance” scale may be more visible. – The Picture Book Pusher


The other day, I got into a discussion with someone about how students are taught tolerance in school rather than acceptance. That hit home with me and got me thinking about the difference between tolerance and acceptance.

Of course we should be tolerant of others, right? If someone practices a different religion, has different political beliefs, is from a different country, is of a different race or ethnicity or a different sexual orientation, we should have tolerance for those differences. We have museums of tolerance which remember events such as the Holocaust, and students are taught in school to tolerate others different from them.

Curious about the actual definition of tolerance, I dipped into my old paper version of Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary (Tenth Edition). Here are two definitions of tolerance that I think apply:

2a: sympathy or indulgence for beliefs or practices differing from or conflicting with one’s own


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