Tolerate is the verb of diversity, and it is a poor choice.
a: to allow to be or to be done without prohibition, hindrance, or contradiction
b: to put up with; to put up with something trying or painful.
Is tolerance the best we can hope for today? A worldwide connection of people offering the best of every corner of the globe is at our fingertips. Why do we choose to describe this interconnectedness with merely "putting up" with one another?
Where do you define the limits of acceptable diversity; race, political, religious, sexual orientation, fiscal, or sports teams? What worldviews are your third rail and will never be included within your definition of acceptable diversity? We conveniently affix the label of "phobia" to the category outside the acceptable diversity circle, add in a bit of "ignorant," and they are now perfectly dead to us. God help us if they show up to the Thanksgiving table and don't talk to me about toleration!
We teach our kids to embrace their own interests, talents, what makes them unique, and encourage play with others on the playground. We repost our favorite memes that encourage following your own path but bristle when someone follows through and shares a different worldview.
Let's try "appreciate" instead of "tolerate" as the diversity verb of choice.
a: to grasp the nature, worth, quality, or significance of
b: to judge with heightened perception or understanding: be fully aware of
c: to recognize with gratitude
Appreciation forces a discussion to understand, instead of relying upon a comfortable judgment and issuing a dismissive stereotype. It is a rare individual that has achieved all wisdom without a journey. Perhaps you and I have not reached enlightenment yet. Just maybe, one of those "third rail" people has something to teach us.
Those other kids on the playground talk funny, have names difficult to pronounce, dress weird, and eat strange foods. However, since we are grownups, maybe we appreciate the diversity of the other "kids" on the playground. From the moon's perspective, we are all in this together. Tolerance is easy; appreciation is hard, thankfully someone has been doing it for us.
Going Further: What relationship needs to shift to appreciation? What are your "third rail" topics? What groups do you refuse to integrate into your "diversity" definition?
Definition Source: http://www.merriam-webster.com/