The word “tolerance” is used a lot in our culture, and — for the most part — we often associate the term with something positive. As in, we often advocate for tolerance when it comes to differences associated with gender, race, sexuality, ethnicity, and more.
But interestingly enough, actress Salma Hayek has no tolerance for the word “tolerance,” and her reason is actually pretty darn compelling.
“Tolerance is something that is not pleasant, […] you just tolerate because you have to. I’ve decided I don’t like the word. I think it’s sending the wrong message. I think it’s about compassion and unity and humbleness to understand that you can learn from everyone. You can only evolve as a [human] race if you’re open to listen and see everything around you, and observe it without judgement. It’s about us coming together.”
Her perspective is very matter-of-fact, and not revolutionary by any means — she’s simply recognizing the need for communities to use words that are inspiring and that encourage us to be actively interested and appreciative of others instead of merely “tolerating” the differences around us. And ideally, we want to use language that brings people together.
We hope that Hayek’s discussion encourages others to think critically about the implications behind the language they use.
She was at Sundance to promote her new film Beatriz at Dinner, which also stars John Lithgow and Chloë Sevigny. Wishing her all the best, and thanking her for these thought-inspiring words.