We can always pursue mutual understanding and respect, even amidst disagreement. By removing self-imposed barriers, tolerance encourages broader thinking and offers inner peace. When we live in harmony with the world around us, we are in a better position to achieve our dreams and live out our aspirations.
We practice tolerance by patiently listening to and respecting the views and feelings of others. Across millennia, philosophers have linked tolerance with respect, equality, and liberty. Tolerance values the individual, independence, and freedom of choice.
Rewards of Tolerance
By actively listening to someone, we increase in our understanding while demonstrating respect. Even if we disagree, tolerance inspires progress. Conversely, hostility breeds discontent. Tolerance grants rewards not attainable by arbitrary condemnation of either someone or their position.
Teaching Children Tolerance
Before they can speak, children learn to mirror the attitudes and value systems of the people they love and adore—most notably—their parents. We want our children to feel relaxed and open to learning from all cultures, embracing diversity, and leading with kindness.
As we have conversations around our children, be mindful that they may be listening. Choose words carefully, avoid judgmental or bigoted language; they may repeat what they hear. Read books and watch movies that value differences. Teach the habit of mutual respect, valuing each other’s perspectives, and accepting each person’s qualities regardless of their style, interests, or abilities. Foster self-esteem and self-confidence so children feel happy and secure within themselves; children who feel good about themselves tend to be more tolerant of and courteous towards others.
When we accept other people and their views, we evolve. While we aren’t obligated to agree with everyone, tolerance invites good will into our lives and relationships. American writer, Robert Green Ingersoll, wrote, “Tolerance is giving to every other human being every right that you claim for yourself.”
Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love.” —Ephesians 4:2 NLT
Today is Pet Club day. There will be cats and dogs and fish, but strictly no elephants are allowed. The Pet Club doesn’t understand that pets come in all shapes and sizes, just like friends. Now it is time for a boy and his tiny pet elephant to show them what it means to be a true friend.
Follow a group of children through a day in their school, where everyone is welcomed with open arms. A school where students from all backgrounds learn from and celebrate each other. A school that shows the world as we will make it to be.
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