We are all so different, and yet, we are all so much alike. Celebrating our individuality and saluting all that we share makes us better people. The 16th of November marks the International Day for Tolerance on the calendar, but we should mark it in our hearts every day of the year.
The world population is so large, and our need to embrace each other is even larger. We have a responsibility to accept, respect and celebrate our differences. On this one day, the entire world should pause and reflect.
It sounds like another feel-good holiday, but many organizations and countries worked with UNESCO and the United Nations to establish the day in 1995. They recognized that our individual worlds are growing closer together, and our need to respect and care for each other must also grow.
In a perfect world, tolerance wouldn’t need promotion. In our world, today especially, it does. We must invest in a future that respectfully includes everyone, in spite of and because of our differences.
That this day is an international affair speaks to the yearning we all have for a world that lives in peace. We have it within ourselves to reach out across the street or across the oceans. We must extend our understanding and appreciation for strangers down the road and neighbors across the borders.
Recognizing this one Day for Tolerance is a good place to start. Keeping it in our hearts all year long makes the journey towards tolerance an easier road to travel.