Do you think you are open-minded? Do you think you're tolerant? Do you find yourself throwing the word 'bigot' around often? Most likely you need to read this short and simple take.
This has truly bothered me for some time now, so I decided to write a take on it, simply to explain what these words actually mean, since so many seem to not know.
Let's look at the definition of open-minded.
*Openminded: willing to consider new ideas; unprejudiced.
Do you find yourself assuming all democrats or liberals are irreligious, unconstitutional, poor and immoral? Do you find yourself assuming that all republicans are war-loving, gay-hating, woman-hating, racist, rich and religious? Do you automatically judge people based on these affiliations? Be honest now. If the answer is yes, you are most likely close-minded in actuality. Open-minded means to consider ideas other than your own and to remain unprejudiced.
Now let's look at the definition of tolerance.
*Tolerance: the ability or willingness to tolerate something, in particular the existence of opinions or behavior that one does not necessarily agree with.
Do you find yourself jumping down people's throats for having differing opinions than you? I saw this often during the Bruce/Caitlyn Jenner arguments. People were telling other individuals who had different beliefs than them that they were intolerant, whereas they were actually practicing intolerance themselves by stating anyone who believed differently than them was intolerant or bigoted.
There will always be people who have beliefs we do not agree with or don't like. But it does not mean that person is bad. There have been many people who do not agree with the sex change, but are respectful to others opinion and even somewhat supportive of Jenner regardless. Isn't that true tolerance? By condemning everyone who holds beliefs you don't agree with, you are commiting the same acts you are speaking out against.
Lastly, let's look up the definition of 'bigot'.
*Bigot: a person who is intolerant toward those holding different opinions.
Similar to the last example, by calling someone a bigot simply for holding different beliefs than you, you are actually commiting bigotry yourself.
EXAMPLES OF TRUE BIGOTRY,CLOSEMINDEDNESS,INTOLERANCE:
"You support transgenders and homosexuals? You're a disgusting person..."
"You think being gay or transgender is wrong? You're a disgusting person..."
EXAMPLES OF TRUE OPENMINDEDNESS/TOLERANCE:
"You support transgenders and homosexuals? Even though I think it's wrong, I respect your opinion and think we could learn a lot from each other. Let's discuss this."
"You think being gay or transgender is wrong? I respect your opinion, though I have to disagree. Why don't we discuss this? I think we could learn a lot from each other."
In conclusion, please be aware of your own words and behaviors before throwing these words around. There are a lot of touchy subjects out there and just because someone believes differently than you does not automatically make them a bad person. I hope you all take something from this and start communicating your ideas in a respectful and effective manner.