Picture Culled from: ODYSSEY
tol•er•ance ˈtä-lə-rən(t)s, ˈtäl-rən(t)s
: Willingness to accept feelings, habits, or beliefs that are different from your own
A relatively simple word.
Why then is so hard to understand?
Why is it so difficult to apply in our everyday lives?
The world is filled with greatly intolerant people unwilling to understand that by virtue of our humanity, race, gender, sexuality, nationality, tribe or religion, we CANNOT ALL HAVE THE SAME VIEWS OR BELIEFS. This lack of understanding has led to tribal and religious conflicts and violence, wars, terrorism, genocide, supposedly honorable killings, mob violence and so much more. Sometimes, intolerance leads to denial of an individual’s basic human rights; which in some cases is more terrifying than been killed.
We believe that every human being has a right to the following;
1. A right to believe in any set of religious tenets they choose and in like manner, a right to not believe in any religion or God;
2. A right to be treated equally regardless of race, tribe, gender, sexual orientation, nationality, social strata, physical disability or level of education;
3. A right to dress in whatever manner a person chooses;
4. A right to hold views, opinions, beliefs or thoughts about any and every thing;
5. A right to form ideologies and belief systems based on the knowledge they have;
6. A right to share knowledge without forcing it down people’s throats or coming to harm for sharing that knowledge and best of all;
7. A right to believe differently from the norm or popular belief, culture, law or tradition.
We believe these core values come with a limitation; that our beliefs SHOULD NOT cause harm to any human life. We may not have the same beliefs but we can TOLERATE each person’s right to their own. This mean that even if something goes against our core values, we have no right to try and force others to live, think and believe as we do. We have to find a way to respect people’s differing opinions; even if we dislike their views.
As the world marks the INTERNATIONAL DAY OF TOLERANCE (as done every year on November 16 since 1995) we urge you to be more tolerant of one another and of people (slightly or vastly) different from you. We also urge you to shun bigotry, racism and perceived racial supremacy, sexism, religious intolerance, gender bias and inequality, forced sexuality and sexual orientation and all other forms of intolerance.
If we do this, maybe Africa – and the world in general – can be a much better place.
Do your part! Join the fight and stop intolerance today!
|Picture: Scary Mommy|