Today's Veterinary Business

JUN 2018

Today’s Veterinary Business provides information and resources designed to help veterinarians and office management improve the financial performance of their practices, allowing them to increase the level of patient care and client service.

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 54 of 77

45 June/July 2018 • TODAYSVETERINARYBUSINESS.COM The concept of tolerance in diversity was advanced in the mid- 20th century in an effort to bridge racial and gender divides. The idea was to promote the coexistence of groups but not necessarily the pos- itive engagement of those groups. The world would be a better place if we could all simply not hate each other, not promote racial or gender supremacy, and grant a reasonable easement to one another that would prevent discrimination at best and violence at worse. A Necessary Endeavor The word "tolerate" comes from the Latin word "tolerare," which means to bear or endure, which in turn does not sound like a positive activ- ity for anyone involved. We tolerate things we do not like and situations that cause us some level of discom- fort. The practice of tolerance is a necessary endeavor in life, but I would venture to say it is hardly an activity that anyone would want to practice or be subjected to. Who really wants to be tolerated? It is hard to live your best, authentic life in a scenario where you are being tolerated. The pressure to perform in a manner that does not threaten tolerance is very high and can take a mental and physical toll on those who endure it. And yet, for many years, the practice of tolerance was con- sidered a cornerstone of diver- sity efforts. With open hostilities between groups there was a special need to move toward a level of mutual understanding of humanity and respect. The practice of tolerance cleared the way for reductions in violence, increased opportunities for education, fair access to housing and employ- ment, and openness for intergroup dialogue and learning. It opened the door for millions of individuals. Tolerance created the much- needed space for diversity to flour- ish and demonstrate its value. Tolerance was and remains a critical component of moving diversity issues forward. That said, its buzzword status is increasingly being replaced by another diversity vocabulary word: inclusion. Moving Beyond Tolerance Inclusion is derived from the Latin verb "includere," which means to shut in. Unlike tolerance, where diverse groups remain separate and distinct, inclusion occurs when a group deliberately welcomes new members who would otherwise not hold membership. Inclusion goes well beyond the recognition of and respect for difference that is seen in the practice of tolerance; those who practice inclusion look to incor- porate diversity into their group. Inclusion is seen as moving beyond tolerance by being inviting, wel- coming and willing to demonstrate an appreciation of the added value. In a day-to-day example, the dif- ference between tolerance and inclu- sion is how you might feel about an in-law or partner's family or friends. In some families, these relationships are tolerated for the greater good, while in others the relationships are fully bloomed and all members Community DIVERSITY TOOLBOX are full, authentic participants. The veterinary profession is an important inclusion model. Con- sider the diversity of practice areas within the profession: • Veterinarians can practice with or without animals. • Veterinarians may limit their practice to particular species, like cattle or birds. • Veterinarians can practice by specialty area, such as theriog- enology or ophthalmology. There is a wide range of practice diversity within veterinary medicine, and yet all are recog - nized as veterinarians. There is a recognition of important defining characteristics (education and training) that convey membership to the major group despite the myriad diversity within. Intertwined Concepts The practice of inclusion does not preclude the practice of tolerance. Admittedly, there are many diversity buzzwords with countless connotations. People sometimes are stuck on antiquated diversity language that serves only to evoke very strong and often negative feelings. For example, when hearing the term "diversity," some individuals immediately think of concepts like affirmative action, quotas or reverse racism. While I will not use this month's column to unpack those terms — they certainly are loaded and rife with misinterpretation — I will focus on one term that has historically been used but has largely been replaced. By Lisa M. Greenhill, MPA, EdD From tolerance to inclusion The practice of inclusion does not preclude the practice of tolerance. In fact, inclusion is dependent on tolerance. Continued on Page 47

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Today's Veterinary Business - JUN 2018