What would tolerance have done?

I sit today and wonder what tolerance might have accomplished in the past when it was not applied. When hatred and scape goats were used successfully as political fodder.

Imagine if in the early years of the 20th century the public had been as tolerant as Canada is today. Would Hitler have come to power? Would Mussolini? Pol Pot?

Imagine if when these dictators were spouting their hatred and blame, the citizens had said.

“No! We are responsible for our own plight, not the Jews, not the conservatives, not the socialists, but we, all, as a nation.”

Imagine if those nations had voted as we did, to stop the advance of fascism. To vote no towards fear and loathing towards those different from themselves. Imagine if when those despots called to the citizens to rise up against their brothers and neighbours, they had just refused, on mass.

I wonder what kind of world we would have today if those evils had not been committed. Or did we need them to teach us? And if we learned from those tragic days anything, it is to never let them happen again. Here or abroad. People matter, not religion, not race, not clothing nor sex. People matter.

Let us move forward in respect and celebration of our diversity, knowing that together we are all one species on a fragile blue marble with no plan B to retreat to. Let’s work together to better ourselves and this floating rock that could shrug us off in a geological instant, while we still can.

Good luck to the new Canadian government in Paris, and all future endeavours that elevate us as a nation, as a people, as a planet.


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