different

365 Challenge: Day 103 – Tolerant

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Tolerant: showing willingness to allow the existence of opinions or behavior that one does not necessarily agree with

tolerant

I do not like the word tolerant. It is clinical. Institutional. Incendiary. It annoys me to accept we need to have a word like tolerant in order to do what should just be the innate and natural thing we all want to do. To have to tell someone or teach someone to be tolerant [of differences] is just an unacceptable truth, as well as one of the areas of life that truly frustrates me. Not because I don’t believe in it, but because there are people in this world who think they are so perfect that any difference is wrong — and that it has become our responsibility to have to educate them to be tolerant.

No, I’m not going to rant on about injustice or inequality. I’m simply making a small statement that while being tolerant is absolutely the right thing to do, it concerns me that we need a word for doing the right thing. I’m not an activist. I am not political. I don’t push my beliefs and thoughts on other people. I just live and breathe each day in the way in which I feel is proper and fair. I’m sure you’ve previously noticed this approach of mine when I’ve posted about being non-judgmental or open-minded. But today, I felt the need to use the word tolerant, as that was the concept being thrown around last night at an event I attended.

A very good friend of mine invited me to the NYC Mayor’s PRIDE month reception at Gracie Mansion last evening. My partner and I eagerly accepted the invitation and explored the wonderful grounds and buildings where our mayor lives. Both the mayor and his wife spoke about how amazing NYC is when it comes to being tolerant and accepting of people’s differences. And then they invited a special guest to the stage: Laverne Cox. For those who don’t know who Laverne is, you can find out more here. As a quick intro, she’s a transgender pioneer who moved from Alabama to NYC where she was able to become who she was inside, as well as a star on the TV show “Orange is the New Black.” She’s also the first Black Transgender Woman to appear on the cover of TIME Magazine. Enough Said.

As I wandered around the party last night, then chatted with friends at dinner, and ultimately when I woke up this morning, this concept of being tolerant has been front and center on my mind. I am not a religious person, but I was raised Catholic and went to church for nearly twenty years. I have little desire (other than to correct wrongs) to get involved in heated political discussions or banter over what’s right and what’s wrong. To me, there’s a simple fact when it comes to… ugh… hate saying it this way… being tolerant of others:

“Your life is none of my business. If you are not hurting me or someone else, you are free to do whatever you want.”

It’s simple. It’s direct. It’s not about religion or hate. It simply means… embrace who you are, do what you want to do and don’t harm others. For anyone to have the audacity to claim otherwise is selfish and uneducated. And to think you can tell someone else what is right or wrong makes no sense. None of us created the concept of life. None of us have the answers or explanations. None of us are inside someone else’s head. We have absolutely no idea what makes another person who they are. Yes, we have science and history and analysis. I believe in all of it. But I also believe that there is something unique to each of us, and that tiny little thing is enough to tell me that I cannot judge another person when I am not that person. What’s right for you is what’s right for you.

We each have our life and own responsibilities and should focus on those things — not whether someone feels more like a man or a woman, or both… loves a man or a woman, or both… wants to change their gender… is more attracted to a certain look about someone else… feels more comfortable using a specific restroom… If I’m gonna use the bathroom… seriously… I’m going in there for ONE PURPOSE… to get it over and done with as quickly as possible… not to engage with anyone else while in there… I will wash my hands and leave… and then it’s out of my mind. I don’t care who else is in there with me. That’s certainly not my first priority. And why would it be anyone else’s?

I really am not ranting. I’m attempting to just be honest and funny. And I’m fairly certain 99% of the people reading this post, i.e. following me, you probably feel the same way. And if you don’t, and I’ve offended you, I certainly didn’t intend to and I accept any consequences. All I can say is that I tolerate your inability to be a more open-minded person and wish you well in your own journey. But for those of us who read this, believe this or preach this… being tolerant, that is, I’m glad to be part of your life.

And so… Happy PRIDE. Happy June. Happy Friday. Happy Everything… because we have one single life that we know of… and I’m not gonna spend it worrying about what other people think or do with their own life. I’ve got better things to do… like read and blog. And make a fool of myself in this 365 Daily Challenge — among other things! Unplanned RANT done. Back to reality. Ah…

 

About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay and I live in NYC. By profession, I work in technology. By passion, I work in writing. I’ve always been a reader. And now I’m a daily blogger. I decided to start my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge” where since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life.

The goal: Knowledge. Acceptance. Understanding. Optimization. Happiness. Help. For myself. For others. And if all else fails, humor. When I’m finished in one year, I hope to have more answers about the future and what I will do with the remainder of my life. All aspects to be considered. It’s not just about a career, hobbies, residence, activities, efforts, et al. It’s meant to be a comprehensive study and reflection from an ordinary man. Not a doctor. Not a therapist. Not a friend. Not an encyclopedia full of prior research. Just pure thought, a blogged journal with true honesty.

Join the fun and read a new post each day, or check out my book reviews, TV/Film reviews or favorite vacation spots. And feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

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365 Challenge: Day 68 – Unique

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Unique: being the only one of its kind; unlike anything else

I’m in a very contemplative mood today. It set upon me last night, as I had dinner with my better half and a friend of ours. Although it was a bit too warm for me, we had an al fresco Italian meal on the terrace under the Sunbrella awning. As the sun set and we enjoyed a glass of wine, I received an email, one which distracted me for much of the evening and again this morning. It’s nothing bad, nor anything at all to worry over; however, it made me realize how difficult it can be to reach a success point on your journey towards a goal. And when I awoke this morning, I asked myself: “What makes me unique?”

It’s a difficult question to answer. There are billions of people on our planet. Is it even possible to be unique? By it’s very definition, there is only one (1) unique item in a bunch; most of us interpret the word to mean “stand out above the rest,” rather than believe the word actually means a “single instance or occurrence.” I’m certainly not unique under the “by the book definition,” and I don’t really believe I’m unique per the commonly accepted “everyday definition.”

But in order to sell something… to convince someone… to get a “yes” to whatever the question is, you often need to be unique — that is, both stand out and be the only one with those qualifications. And so, not only is the question difficult, but being unique is also difficult. I suppose you really need to know yourself well to determine what makes you as “unique” as possible. I’d like to think I know myself well, but I’m not convinced I do, at least not today. I know the things I’m good at, but not what makes me top of my game. I sense the things I love doing, but not whether people want to listen to me because of them.

When I choose to read a book, it’s not often about what makes it a unique book. It’s whether the author has previously impressed me. It’s if the book cover or title truly capture my attention. It’s when the jacket description or online summary speak to me. Sometimes it’s when a friend recommends it. Other times, it falls into my lap. But there are millions of books…. they can’t all be unique. So how does one go about meeting that expectation when trying to write a novel, seek an agent or get published?

For those on a job search, you often hear “show why you’re the best candidate for the position,” either on the application, in the interview or as a follow-up review. Do we really know our own strengths? Are we savvy enough on the employer’s needs or the hiring manager’s thoughts to be able to highlight the right matching skills or words? It’s a balance of all these things… and I’m not necessarily looking for input or feedback on this… just noting how many times the question comes up: “How are you a unique fit or individual?” Perhaps it’s a bit too direct, egotistical or Pollyanna of me… but at times, I simply want to say:

I’m not a unique individual, nor do I want to be one. But what I am is a very capable, intelligent, strong, persistent, creative, open-minded and efficient guy. And you’d be lucky to have me as part of your team, whether I’m your next big writer or the one to re-organize your department to finally meet customer expectations. Some of us… are good at many things… and qualifying every piece of it won’t convince you why to select me. But knowing that there is no one more dependable than me, you should take this chance.

I’m not special, and I am OK with that. But it’s what others seem to expect when they are looking for the answer to the question. But then again, people’s natural instincts are also to be a bit doubtful or hesitant, to search for the absolute best, and to seek something that will bring in the money. Part luck, part game, it’s not always about talent. Nor is always about fitting in a prescribed box.

All this said, I’m not turning this into an advice column or a “help me understand” pitch. I’m not unique enough to warrant that kind of attention…  did you laugh over that? Yikes, I guess I’m not funny enough to be a comedian either. 😛  Even as I choose what to write in my reviews, or in the 365 Daily posts, I know I am not offering unique quality with a unique voice in a unique method. It’s been done by others, hundreds of times before and will continue to be thousands more into the future. I’m simply offering my opinion and thoughts, for whatever it may be worth at that time to that reader for a specific reason.

I’m purely reflecting on the things we face every day and how we choose to navigate that path. If I never found the perfect job or published a book, I’d still be a very happy guy. I’m simply being my inner two-year-old, questioning “Why, Why, Why” until I feel it’s time to move on to the next topic. And so I throw it back out to readers today. Pick one or more questions below and tell me what you think… or add your own question with an answer, too:

  1. What makes a book unique for you?
  2. How are you unique in your job or role?
  3. As a friend and general person, what types of unique qualities do you search for in others?
  4. Is unique important to you?

 

About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay and I live in NYC. By profession, I work in technology. By passion, I work in writing. I’ve always been a reader. And now I’m a daily blogger. I decided to start my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge” where since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life.

The goal: Knowledge. Acceptance. Understanding. Optimization. Happiness. Help. For myself. For others. And if all else fails, humor. When I’m finished in one year, I hope to have more answers about the future and what I will do with the remainder of my life. All aspects to be considered. It’s not just about a career, hobbies, residence, activities, efforts, et al. It’s meant to be a comprehensive study and reflection from an ordinary man. Not a doctor. Not a therapist. Not a friend. Not an encyclopedia full of prior research. Just pure thought, a blogged journal with true honesty.

Join the fun and read a new post each day, or check out my book reviews, TV/Film reviews or favorite vacation spots. And feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.