Tolerance Reflections: Five Signs of Strength

Last fall when I interviewed women across the nation, they surprised me. I presupposed that when asked what one thing they would change immediately in the U.S., ending poverty or war would be the most prevalent answer. Instead, women in thirty-five states and the District of Columbia together said:  increase tolerance. Tolerance is defined as “sympathy or indulgence for beliefs or practices differing from or conflicting with one's own.” Women urged, can’t we just talk? Why all this vitriol and divisiveness? What happened to sitting around … [Read more...]

Halfway Through the ‘New News’ Challenge, Tolerance Grows & Patience Wans

On February 4th I issued the 8 Weeks to Optimum Tolerance ‘New News’ challenge. Half way through, I confess that it is harder than I expected, listening to more diverse perspectives than I usually do. Thus far, I’ve watched Bill O’Reilly lament the “Epidemic of Disrespect” in America while calling people I care deeply about, our nation’s public school teachers, “Pinheads.” I tried to find something to love about O’Reilly. I paid close attention to the Republican’s response to the State of the Union address, ripping off my blinders instead … [Read more...]

Four Intolerance Taming Practices: 8 Weeks to Optimum Tolerance New-News Challenge

My Grandpa used to tell me, “Point the finger at someone else and you have three pointed right back at you.” The response to each New Year’s State of the Union (SOTU) address typically serves as an exercise in finger pointing. This year, we were treated to the ‘official’ Republican response, by party “Savior” Senator Marco Rubio, and the additional rebuttal by Tea Party Republican Senator Rand Paul. En masse, Main Street Women’s pre-election Manifesto for Tolerance was a call to end the vitriolic state of the union. So far, their magic … [Read more...]

Hippos & Pinheads: 8 Weeks to Optimum Tolerance Challenge

Last week, I issued an eight week tolerance challenge, the ‘new’ news challenge. Like most Americans, I’ve created some deep grooves in my life road by watching, reading and listening to certain news sources without variation. In essence, my news-accessing practices mirror what concerns the wise women of Main Street most about our nation and its leaders:   intolerance is holding us back. One respected poll illustrates the divide. “Television news has become just as polarizing as the politicians themselves. Democrats trust everything … [Read more...]

8 Week Main Street Tolerance Challenge: ‘New’ News One Day a Week

Today, in the interest of Mainstreet Women's cry for tolerance, I'm issuing an 8-week challenge:   One Day a Week, Let's Access Some "New" News. According to the Pew Research Center’s 2010 study, where we get our news tells a lot about our views. (http://www.people-press.org/2010/09/12/americans-spending-more-time-following-the-news/) The table below offers some of Pew's findings:  is it the chicken or egg? Do we choose our news based on our views or does the news we choose shape our views? Or, like most things in life is it a yes/and … [Read more...]

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