Tolerance: Need to Survive China

Everyday I wake up and kiss Michael good morning and then go to take my shower… I am always taking the time to mentally prepare myself for … Well, actually for China.   Although I am often teased about becoming more and more Chinese, I still feel myself having to tolerate things that in my other life (when I lived in the states) I would have never accepted.  China has taught me that more and more people in this world need to learn to tolerate each others differences.   We all have to live here on earth… until NASA finds a way for us to live on another planet, so why make things so difficult for each other.

I was reading the blog on where they quoted me on a few things.. but that is not way I am wanting to share it here.   I am sharing this post with you because I think that, she has really truly hit the hammer on the nail.   I think it is just a great post… Enjoy! Take it away Kate….

4 lessons Harry Potter can teach us about tolerance – cross-cultural and otherwise

 Posted by on July 15, 2011

Yesterday, our Random Nomad, Jo Gan said:

“If something one of us does bothers the other person, we compromise… If you really want to make a relationship to work, any relationship, it takes respect, consideration, and a willingness to compromise.”

Wise words, Jo, and sentiments which another Jo – Jo Rowling, better known as JK Rowling – would agree with.

Love them?

Since 1997 and the publication of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, we have been engulfed in the world of Hogwarts, wizards, witches, and muggles. With today’s movie release of  Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Part 2), however, this week marks the end of the Harry Potter era.

Perhaps I was just at the right stage of family life to love Harry Potter. My children were toddlers when Philosopher’s Stone was published; this month, as Harry, Ron, and Hermione reach school-leaving age, so do they.  Together, over the last fourteen years, we have read the books, seen the movies, and queued at midnight in bookstores.

Or hate them?

It’s apparent, though, that not everyone shares this affection. While I understand we all have different tastes and Harry Potter cannot possibly be everyone’s cup of butterbeer, in too many cases this aversion has gone far past simple dislike into the realms of…well, ‘hatred’ isn’t too strong a word for it.

Pretty ironic, really, when one of the main Harry Potter themes is Tolerance.

Could it be that the very people who claim to detest Harry Potter are, perhaps, those who most need to read the books?

1. Tolerance of things we fear

Harry’s aunt and uncle, the Dursleys, fear all things magic. They won’t even permit Harry to use the M word – “Magic” – in their presence, and they confiscate his Hogwarts textbooks over summer vacations.

These actions are not unlike those of some fundamentalist churches, who periodically burn Harry Potter books. One Baptist pastor claims:

“The Potter series is worse than pornography. The books are even more dangerous than the Satanic Bible. At least with the Satanic Bible, young people know that the book was written by Satan. The Devil just changed his name to J.K. Rowling this time.”

Satan needn’t have bothered. It won’t help him get a share of the royalties.

2. Tolerance of infirmities

Professor Lupin, a teacher at Hogwarts, is humiliated and discriminated against because, through no fault of his own, he has a chronic disease – lycanthropy. In other words, once a month, he will turn into a wolf, bay at the moon, and run around biting people. The disease is now fully controlled by potions, but Professor Snape still regards it as his duty to inform Hogwarts pupils of Professor Lupin’s  condition.

Sadly, many AIDS sufferers can probably empathize with Professor Lupin’s plight.

However, we learn that in his teenage years, when no potion was available for his disease, Professor Lupin had three friends who developed their own ability to change into animal form, so they could keep Lupin company during full moon.

A true friend, like a life partner, will be tolerant of you in both sickness and in health.

3. Tolerance of other races

Voldemort followers in the Potter series want to rid the world of muggle magicians – wizards and witches who are not born into aristocratic magical families, but born in the real world and who display magical talent. Hermione is one of these, as was Harry Potter’s mother – both brilliant witches, but their talents apparently not good enough for Voldemort’s approval.

The parallels between Voldemort and Hitler, between the uprising of Voldemort followers and the Nazi party, between the desires for a master race and for pure-blood magicians, are only too evident.

4. Tolerance of things we envy

Lastly, a lesson not in the text of the books, but from reactions to the books.

There is wide criticism from both writers and ‘readers’ (I use quotes because generally these people haven’t read the books at all, but are prepared to offer criticism nevertheless) that the books have a clunky writing style, use too many adverbs – in short, name a writing sin, and JKR has committed it, it seems, and therefore does not deserve all the acclaim she has received.

No matter that this woman had an idea, worked on it determinedly for many years under far from ideal conditions, and finally achieved her goal of turning this idea into seven books. How dare someone rise from single motherhood on welfare to happily married, multimillionaire author?

In other words: How dare JK Rowling not be me?

As Jo Gan also said yesterday:

We have learned to accept each other’s differences.

If only everyone could say the same.


until next time…


4 thoughts on “Tolerance: Need to Survive China

  1. mira

    Agree with Jo

    When I have my “China Moment” days….this is when I get angry, frustrated, loose patients, can’t understand and basically pissed off with China yes with the whole country not just the situation I stop and say my mantra TIC, TIC, TIC (THIS IS CHINA) basically I’m telling myself China has it’s own ways…maybe it’s the wrong way and it maybe frustrating and annoying but I need to accept it, I need to calm down, breath and be tolerant because this is the way it is and no amount anger or even logical discussion will change it, also opening a bottle of red helps immensely.

    How are the weddign photo’s coming along?

  2. EM

    But should we really learn to tolerate such an intolerant place? It seems like China’s not really learning these lessons from HP — or any Western media. Doesn’t tolerating intolerance just allow it to perpetuate itself?

    1. @EM… we live in a world where no one is perfect… and not everyone has the same beliefs, or same ideals… everyone is different…. and that is what makes the world so special those differences… you cant change everyone to fit the mold you want them to fit… so you need to tolerate those differences. Just like in the case of my marriage… we have some differences that irritate each other.. but to make our marriage work…. we tolerate those differences and compromise… you cant change a country as large as China… but if you have to be here… and you want to keep from going crazy… then you need to learn to tolerate thngs. If this isnt done .. you will be always alone in the world.

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