Letter to the Editor: A Challenge of Acceptance

Daniel Grueber

I had the pleasure of attending the recent candlelight vigil that was created to show solidarity with the victims of Chapel Hill. After the initial moment of silence, the gathering proceeded into the Student Multicultural Center to hear some words from representatives of different Kent State organizations.

The act of creating and going to the vigil was us collectively acknowledging that there is a problem with our society: a problem of hatred and violence. In these situations, however, what we have a hard time admitting is that we ourselves are often at fault. The fact that individuals went to the vigil shows our desire for change and peace, and these are honorable endeavors, but if we do not strive to improve when we see a fault in our society then we are hypocrites.

Many people at the vigil brought up the idea of tolerance, and I ask you, why stop there? When I hear the word tolerance I think of a fly, buzzing around the room, annoying and in the way. It is something we tolerate, because it annoys us, and there is nothing we can do about it. But I believe we are better than that. I believe humans have an infinite capacity for love and an infinite capacity to change.

And with that, I challenge you to not simply tolerate your fellow humans, but accept them, as beings of love, of mind and reason, of passion and ingenuity. That they are not something to be tolerated like a fly, but accepted as equals, accepted as different, accepted as deserving life. For if we do not seek to go beyond tolerance how can we expect others to achieve that level themselves?

Contact Daniel Gruber at [email protected].