As marketers, we are taught very early in our careers that we should focus on our customer as a priority in our work. We strive towards a complete understanding and knowledge of what our customers want and what they need to live their lives.
As marketers, we learn to respect, love, and even cherish our customers. We embrace all there is to know about them, free of any judgment. This includes all aspects of their lives, and the diversity that makes them all so unique.
We embrace our customers across a diverse range of demographic and psychographic dimensions. Why can't we live that way as people as well?
If there's a word I'd like to see removed from our language this year, it would have to be "tolerance." We live in a diverse world, filled with behaviors, cultures, and perspectives that are all different from each other.
When we hear someone saying something negative about another's life, as a society we often say we need to show tolerance. We often try to teach tolerance.
Marketers don't do "tolerance," though, so I have to say that I don't think that's the right approach... I'd rather look at it through a marketer's eyes. I'd rather see us embrace our differences in each other.
Tolerance implies that we learn to put up with it. Against our better judgment and against what we would normally do, we're just going to keep our mouths shut and deal with it. For me, that's what "tolerance" feels like.
I'd rather see us all embrace each other, rather than just tolerate each other. To embrace someone is even stronger that tolerating them or even accepting them.
To embrace is to fully relish in all that they are about... things that are similar to you and things that are completely different. When we embrace someone we try to learn all that makes them who they are, particularly the parts that we don't understand or have never seen before. When you embrace, it's almost impossible to have any hate or any judgment, because you are instead accepting, growing, and learning in the process.
So I personally would prefer to delete "tolerance" from our vernacular, and instead learn to embrace everyone in our society and see what we can learn from each other. Like those of us in marketing do at work.
We'd simply be in a better place, don't you think?