Letter: Tolerance bests cruel generalizations


To the editor of THE EAGLE:

The letter writer ("We’re picking up some bad habits," Aug. 11), who felt she’d been beaten out of a parking spot at Price Chopper by a driver with New Jersey license plates, wrote: "I try not to generalize Š" In fact, by painting New Yorkers and New Jerseyans as rude, impatient, selfish and "not from here," she did just that.

Her letter made me think of the many tribal conflicts that plague the world, creating human misery in the name of some self-perceived notion of the right way to be. It’s a long list. Hutu and Tutsi come to mind. Sunni and Shia. The same edition of the Eagle that printed the aggrieved woman’s letter reported that Yazidi refugees are fleeing across the border from Syria into Iraq. They are being driven out by militants who gave them a chance to convert to Islam or die.

I propose that we pause, take a deep collective breath and consider rejecting the "us-against-them" mindset that leads to such unhappiness and strife. Let us all find a way -- no matter where we call home -- to practice tolerance and embrace our differences.




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