The ideal of ‘tolerance’ is unrealistic. Society has to have standards. The standards can be arbitrary, different in each society, but some standard must exist for society to retain integrity. This is why human creatures have shame – it’s an automatic mechanism which prevents us from defecating in the streets, calling out obscenities and destroying things we don’t like.
Naturally, some people to push against the status quo, which is good – as it invites a constant evolution of standards. A healthy society welcomes this. And for this to happen, there also has to be someone upholding the standards. But claiming this is happening in the name of ‘tolerance’ is bullshit, because those pushing against the status quo are not tolerating the standards.
It would be more honest to focus on compassion on an individual level. People should not roll over and ‘tolerate’ what they see as injustice, or society would collapse. But being compassionate toward an individual despite disagreements is the key to a healthy society. Even being compassionate to criminals, while still serving justice.
Teaching children compassion is the answer, not teaching them tolerance. Because this lesson of tolerance is wrapped in a box which tells you what to tolerate and what not to tolerate. It simply is not what it claims to be. And people catch on. Compassion, however, is undeniably real – a human recognizing another human’s humanity. There is no ideology that can undercut the impact of this.