Tolerance of the Intolerable

It could be climate change, or racism or any number of hotbed social issues, but we all have family that are guilty of believing something we find horrible. They may be a sibling, parent, grandparent, cousin etc, but whatever the relation they annoy us, disappoint us and even piss us off with their blatant idiotic regurgitation of pseudo-scientific nonsense. We may feel that we don’t even love them, for which we always feel some measure of guilt, but we do feel stuck with them. So how do we cope with the knowledge that someone so close to us is so willfully unaware of the facts that they deny the undeniable, when we are willing to ditch an old friend because we find their ignorance intolerable? How can we possibly maintain an active relationship with those, who we are supposed to love unconditionally, when they invariably always end up making us feel sick to the stomach?

Some of us divorce ourselves from them, never to talk to again. And when they pass on, any guilt we may have held at bay comes crashing down upon us all at once, leaving us with a feeling of how futile the entire endeavor really was. Because, in the end, what did we really accomplish but the alienation of a loved one from our social circle, our life and our love? When we toss them aside in frustration, and yes even pride, somehow we feel justified in doing so. Our ideology, at the time we make such a drastic decision, dictates that such retributive action as a necessary thing. It is right because of the high morality we feel. But, is it really a high morality, or a higher hubris? We know we are right. At least we feel we know. For some reason that fatal decision, to abandon that part of our family forever, feels so right that we think that regret can never come back later and bite us in the ass. But it almost always does. I believe that if you ask anyone who has pulled that trigger eventually does have some regret later in life. Many who have decided on this final solution may not have considered that they were the ones that abandoned, given up and taken away their affection… not the family member they found so distasteful.

The alternative may not be ideal, or even desired, but is absolutely necessary. Perhaps agreeing to disagree is the most reasonable ground to come together on. Maybe in the face of all that is and could be that there are no absolutes when it comes to family. Really, friends come and go, but family really is forever. That is, if you truly are human. No one wants to be abandoned. No one wants to feel frustration or anger or disgust, either. However, do you really want to feel that crushing regret and the cold snap of realization that you were the intolerant one? I think that when one considers all things a measure of disgust is okay.