The Norman Transcript

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January 19, 2014

Tolerance required from all sides of the argument

NORMAN — The controversy over the recent court decision striking down the Oklahoma state constitutional amendment defining marriage as between one man and one woman has brought to the fore a question — what is tolerance?

Historically, tolerance has often meant a grudging acceptance of that which cannot be changed.

For instance, I tolerate the fact that I’m short. At 5-foot 5-inches I’ll never be mistaken for a large individual, and at 42 I’m unlikely to grow any direction save sideways — and with my metabolism that’s not particularly likely, either.

I hate being short. I hate having to have a step-stool in the kitchen to reach the top shelf. I hate having to pull my seat all the way forward in my truck to be able to reach the pedals. I hate struggling to find clothes that fit in the adult section of the store.

It, frankly, sucks wet armadillo fur. But neither can I do anything about it — short of some sort of Avatar-like technological innovation that lets me transfer my consciousness into a 6-foot 4-inch android with the body of Hercules, I’m never going to be a buff action-star type.

So I tolerate being short, and frankly, skinny. I don’t like it, but I tolerate it.

Likewise I tolerate many of the minor — and often infuriating infringements upon my liberty I put up with every day. From speed limits (which according to nearly every study done, do not actually make anyone safer, but that’s for another column) to the multitudinous taxes hidden as “fees” like license tags and driver’s licenses (If you start adding up all the “user fees” and other hidden taxes most of us pay more than 50 percent of our income in taxes, again another column, another time) I can’t do anything about them, so I tolerate them.

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