International Day for Tolerance

International Day for Tolerance

The International Day for Tolerance is an annual observance day declared by UNESCO in 1995 to generate public awareness of the dangers of intolerance. It is observed on 16 November.

The main aim behind starting this day was to make educational institutions and people at large believe that tolerance is an integral part of society. Since the inception of this day, it’s been the UN’s goal to strengthen tolerance by fostering mutual understanding among cultures and peoples. According to the 1995 Declaration of Principles of Tolerance by UNESCO, tolerance is acceptance, respect and appreciation of world cultures and ways of being Human.

“ Tolerance isn’t about not having beliefs. It’s about how your beliefs lead you to treat people who disagree with you.” ― Timothy Keller

Timothy Keller is an American theologian. He is also very well known for his pastor work. He says he constantly tries to spread the word of tolerance and how powerful it can be when implemented. 

“The only way to make sure people you agree with can speak is to support the rights of people you don’t agree with.” ― Eleanor Holmes Norton 

This quote is another way of saying, “treat people how you want to be treated,” Eleanor Norton is a Delegate to the United States House of Representatives. She states that it is especially important to advocate for tolerance in her line of work. She needs to listen to what others have to say, whether she agrees or not, because if it were her speaking she would expect the same respect. 

“I do not like what you say but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”― attributed to Voltaire

This statement is the perfect example of tolerance. It can be shown by simply respecting someone’s time to talk, or fighting for it. Without tolerance, the world would be in absolute chaos which is why it’s important enough to dedicate a day to advocate for it. 

“If civilization is to survive, we must cultivate the science of human relationships – the ability of all peoples, of all kinds, to live together, in the same world at peace.” ― Franklin D. Roosevelt

Just as it was important during the times of Franklin Roosevelt, it is just as, if not more important during these days. The more separation we have, not only politically speaking, the more tolerance we need to carry. 

“In the practice of tolerance, one’s enemy is the best teacher.” ― Dalai Lama XIV

In other words, it’s not only important to practice tolerance for peace, but it can also be one of the greatest learning experiences. Even if you will never change your mind about something, it’s important to learn why others think what they do. It could even better yourself, as it can give you another perspective. 

“If a profound gulf separates my neighbor’s belief from mine, there is always the golden bridge of tolerance.” ―  Anon.

This quote is a great example of how tolerance is needed in a lot of situations. Whether it be Eleanor Homes Norton during a discussion in the House of Representatives, or between you and your neighbor. It’s understandable to lose tolerance in the midst of everything going on this year, but it can’t be stressed enough- without it, we would suffer greatly.