Tolerance cannot be learned from books
One cannot discuss the delicate topic of tolerance without giving the precise definition of both tolerance and intolerance. To be tolerant is to respect the freedom of others and also to respect their way of thinking and behaving, without especially criticizing or judging them. For this to happen, one must go outside, make acquaintances and socialize. No two people in the world are exactly alike. Even identical twins have different viewpoints and own diverse experiences. Is it necessary for one to be in agreement with his peers in order to respect their right to a personal opinion? My answer to that is “No”.
Tolerance is the appreciation of diversity and the ability to live and let others live. It is the ability to exercise a fair and objective attitude towards those whose opinions, religion, nationality and so on differ from one's own. Whereas when reading books, one does not ...view middle of the document...
The result is continuing inter-group violence.
At a recent post-9/11 conference on multiculturalism in the United States, participants asked, "How can we be tolerant of those who are intolerant of us?”. For many, tolerating intolerance is neither acceptable nor possible. Though tolerance may seem an impossible exercise in certain situations, being so nonetheless remains key to easing hostile tensions between groups and to helping communities move past intractable conflict. That is because tolerance is integral to different groups relating to one another in a respectful and understanding way. In cases where communities have been deeply entrenched in violent conflict, being tolerant helps the affected groups endure the pain of the past and resolve their differences.
In situations where conditions are economically depressed and politically charged, groups and individuals may find it hard to tolerate those that are different from them or have caused them harm. In such cases, discrimination, dehumanization, repression, and violence may occur. Intolerance will drive groups apart, creating a sense of permanent separation between them. For example, although slavery was abolished in 1833, social studies show that a difference between black and white people is still perceived nowadays. This continued racial division perpetuates the problems of inter-group resentment and hostility.
To sum up, it is not necessary to enjoy the same food or music as one’s friends, practice the same religion or dress the same way. But he/she must be open to learn about those differences. Behaviours that disrespect or hurt others should not be tolerated. Tolerance also means treating them the way you would like to be treated. The basic right of every human being is the right to life. Respect is about accepting people for who they are. Being open-minded and seeing events from a different perspective is the first step on the ladder of tolerance ending in serenity. Not accepting other’s opinions means the problem lies not within them, but within ourselves. We must learn to be more tolerant in order to make the world a better place.