International Day for Tolerance
“Where there is love there is life.”— Mahatma Gandhi
International Day of Tolerance is observed each year on the 16th of November, to promote a deeper understanding of culture and peoples across the world. Tolerance is more than just acceptance – it is also a deep belief that our differences, such as those pertaining to culture, ethnicity and religion, do not have to divide us. Instead, this diversity can stimulate conversations, inspire appreciation and build respect for all kinds of groups and individuals.
We live in polarising times, with people holding strong opposing opinions on issues regarding politics, human rights, and even health. In these times of extremism, violence and unrest, it has been especially heartening to witness the overwhelming amount of compassion that has united the world during the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite geographical distances, economic uncertainty and widespread fear, people across the world have come together to tackle an unprecedented crisis.
Frontline workers have risked their lives to provide around-the-clock care, organizations have pooled resources and leveraged networks to provide food, medicine and other essentials to the less fortunate, while researchers have dedicated time to consolidating valuable information. Many ordinary citizens have made an extraordinary effort to solve all kinds of problems – from employment opportunities and fundraising to grocery supplies and raising awareness.
Some of the most powerful ways to foster tolerance have been to use tools such as better education, wider access to information and greater individual awareness. TeachAids continues to work towards avoiding the exclusion and marginalization of individuals and communities due to bias, misinformation or stigma. Cultivating mutual respect and an appreciation for those around us will help us move forward as a strong global community.
The pandemic has shown that in the face of shared problems, we are quick to mobilize and empower each other – and this spirit of hope and unity is one that is worth celebrating!