Monday, August 10, 2009


When I was in the MTC I made friends with a couple of sisters who were Samoan. They would eat lunch with my district quite often and one day we started talking about phrases we use and phrases they use and the difference. They taught us a phrase that went like this.....E eseese pato (I hope I spelt that right!), the translation is "ducks are different". I remember asking what that meant, and they said that basically it says "everybody is unique, different-so be tolerant". This phrase came back to me today because lately I have been thinking a lot about tolerance, maybe it's because I have been experiencing situations where there needs to be more tolerance for people's beliefs, how they live their lives, or even the challenges they experience in life. Who are we to judge them? I have listened to so many people this past week judge one another on their religious beliefs, on their marriages, on their mistakes, or even on their hardships (who are we to go and judge someone if they need medicaid or need help feeding their families!) Now I understand that I am a social worker, so I am naturally passionate about tolerance, but it just seems like this world is beooming more and more intolerant. Last week wasn't the first week I have heard intolerance, it's almost hard to go somewhere and not see it or hear it. I think tolerance is one of those things we have to wake up everyday and make a committment to strive to reach. One of the greatest things we can give someone is respect, a little respect can go a long way, and I believe that respect is something that can be passed on just by receiving it. We don't have to have a formal lesson to learn it. We just need to listen to people's stories with compassion. I once heard in a sacrament meeting that if we understood everyone's stories then we wouldn't judge one another, we would extend love instead. I don't mean to be on a soap box about this, it's just something that has bothered me lately and I am by no means perfect, so I hope I can wake up each day and tune my heart more each day to hear the stories of the people around me so I can love them a little more each day.