Tolerance: where diversity is praised and peace is restored


We are born into this complex corrupted world as babies, carrying innocence in our minds and purity in our hearts. But with time, situations and influence we come across certain emotions of evil. All of us do. Anger seeps into our veins like dark ink, bubbling and simmering within us. It takes a toll on our principles, and our views on right and wrong, merely blinding us from the reality. Rage takes over every inch of our body, while our loved ones take cover, waiting for the ticking time bomb in us to go off. And boom!!!

Anger is a human emotion and is often associated with intolerance. For example, when a certain individual encounters individuals or groups with different opinions or beliefs, they may express their anger as intolerance, rejecting those that differ from them.

So, what exactly is intolerance?

Intolerance is often defined as the lack of willingness or the capacity to accept, understand, appreciate, or respect different opinions, beliefs, cultures, or identities. It is having a rigid mindset that is unwilling to consider the possibility of an alternative perspective and may manifest as prejudice, discrimination or hostility towards individuals or groups perceived as different. This state of close-mindedness, and prejudice towards race, religion, gender, or other attributes can lead to the destruction of the state of peace among the human race.

International Day for Tolerance

The International Day for Tolerance has been celebrated annually on the 16th of November, since 1996, serving as a global reminder of the importance of fostering mutual understanding, respect, and acceptance among individuals and communities of diverse backgrounds. It was established by the United Nations to provide an opportunity for reflection on the significance of tolerance in building a harmonious and inclusive world.

Why tolerance is a must?

Tolerance is a catalyst for ‘peace’ among humankind, especially when dwelling in a world rich with cultural, religious, and ethnic diversity. If the world is a watercolour pellet holding so many different shades, tolerance is the ‘water’ that combines all the shades, eventually painting the beautiful picture of ‘peace and harmony’. Therefore, fostering tolerance becomes paramount in preventing conflicts, and nurturing peaceful coexistence. It is a basic human quality, significantly required to live in societal conditions.

Additionally, tolerance is connected to the protection of human rights and the dignity of an individual. Tolerance is recognizing an individual and giving them worth, regardless of their race, religion, gender, or their beliefs. Tolerance creates a platform for social harmony. By fostering it, great wars that end in catastrophic disasters to humanity can be prevented. And innocent lives will not be at stake.

Is ‘tolerance’ a given at birth?

Tolerance is not a character everyone is born with or aware of at a young age. A child’s growing mind is like a sponge, waiting to absorb any information sprayed at them. So, the education and awareness play a crucial role in fostering tolerance. Tolerance should be promoted in schools, universities, and communities, emphasizing the beauty of diversity.

The Secretary General of the UN, Bank Ki-Moon has said that “Tolerance requires investment by States in people, and in the fulfillment of their potential through education, inclusion, and opportunities. This means building societies founded on respect for human rights, where fear, distrust and marginalization are supplanted by pluralism, participation, and respect for difference”.

Building bridges for a better tomorrow

As we approach the International Day of Tolerance, let us reaffirm our commitment to building a world where diversity is celebrated. Everyone is born different, lived differently and eventually the legacies left by them are different. If everyone acted the same, the world would be like a recycled old newsletter read over and over again.

Diversity adds colour to the world, and it gives it meaning. With tolerance, this diversity can be understood. And by mastering tolerance and spreading love and kindness, the black ink that flows through our veins can be flushed off with the purest of water. The water that blends all the colours of diversity, painting the beautiful picture of ‘mankind’. Let us recognize the shared humanity and celebrate our differences to build bridges for a better tomorrow.


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