What is Tolerance
The word tolerance means the willingness to accept or to tolerate, especially opinions or behaviour you may not agree with, or to behave sensibly with those who are not like you. It means showing respect for the race, gender, opinions, religion and ideologies of other people or groups, and to admire the good qualities and good work of others. And to express one’s point of view in a decent and respectful way while respecting the sentiments of others.
Importance of Tolerance
In an age where the electronic media has drawn us closer together into what is called a global village, or a global society, its benefits will only be felt when mutual goodness prevails, when mutual respect and understanding prevail. In this globalisation, where people of different backgrounds, cultures and religions are living together, and where the world has become multicultural and full of diversity, establishing tolerance and harmony has become very crucial and important, and fostering mutual love and affection has become vital.
Without tolerance and harmony the lasting peace of societies cannot be maintained, and loyalty for each other cannot be established.
Lack of tolerance leads to fighting, violence, and finally it destroys the peace and security of society. When people fail in their arguments they become intolerant, and then they use force and aggression to support their point of view. We have seen considerable incidents in recent history where, because of lack of tolerance, people have attacked people of other faiths, their places of worship, their communities. How nice it would be if everyone tries to express himself in a decent and respectful way with tolerance.
Massacres based on Intolerance
Anti-Christian policies directed at the early church had occurred sporadically and in localised areas since its beginning. The first persecution of Christians organised by the Roman government took place under the emperor Nero in 64 AD after the Great Fire of Rome;with the passage in 313 AD of the Edict of Milan, anti-Christian policies directed against Christians by the Roman government ceased. The total number of Christians who lost their lives because of these persecutions is unknown, Christians who refused to recant by performing ceremonies to honour the gods would meet with severe penalties; Roman citizens were exiled or condemned to a swift death by beheading. Slaves, foreign-born residents and lower classes were liable to be put to death by wild beasts as a public spectacle. A variety of animals were used for those condemned to die in this way. There is evidence of Christians being executed at the Colosseum in Rome
There were many different types of executions in the Colosseum. Christian Martyrs were executed as common criminals by crucifixion or “damnatio ad bestia” (thrown to the wild beasts). The vicious and cruel emperors and Romans delighted in even more novel ways of executing Christian Martyrs. The Emperor Nero introduced twilight executions where hapless Christians were nailed to the cross and burned alive as torches to light the arena of the Colosseum.
The Spanish Inquisition is often cited in literature and history as an example of Catholic intolerance and repression.
The Inquisition was originally intended in large part to ensure the orthodoxy of those who converted from Islam. This regulation of the faith of the newly converted was intensified after the royal decrees issued in 1492 and 1501 ordering Muslims to convert or leave Spain.
Although records are incomplete, estimates of the number of persons charged with crimes by the Inquisition range up to 150,000, with 2,000 to 5,000 people executed. The head crusher was a brutal torture device commonly used onlyby the Spanish Inquisition. The person’s chin was placed over a bottom bar and the head under a uppermetal cap. The executioner then slowly turned the screw, gradually compressing the headbetween the bar and cap. At first, the teeth were smashed and disintegrated into the jaw, then the eyes followed. This horrendous instrument was an effective way to extract confessions from the victims, as the suffering could be prolonged to indefinite time, if the executioner chose to. However, even if the torture was stopped midway, the person, although still alive, often had irreversibly damaged brain, eyes or jaw.
To the anti-Semitic Nazi leader Adolf Hitler, Jews were an inferior race, an alien threat to German racial purity and community.
The killings were systematically conducted in virtually all areas of German-occupied territory in what are now 35 separate European countries. It was at its most severe in Central and Eastern Europe, which had more than seven million Jews in 1939. About five million Jews were killed there, including three million in occupied Poland and over one million in the Soviet Union. Hundreds of thousands also died in the Netherlands, France, Belgium, Yugoslavia, and Greece.
The use of extermination camps (also called “death camps”) equipped with gas chambers for the purpose of systematic mass extermination of peoples was a unique feature of the Holocaust and unprecedented in history. Never before had there existed places with the express purpose of killing people en masse. The death camps were built to systematically kill millions, primarily by gassing, but also by execution andextreme work under starvation conditions
Tolerance and Acceptance
Tolerance is a virtue. It is a version of the golden rule in that, as we want others to treat us decently, we need to treat them decently as well. It is also a pragmatic formula for the functioning of society, as we can see in the omnipresent wars between different religions, political ideologies, nationalities, ethnic groups, or other us-versus-them divisions. It is a basis for the First Amendment protections that enabled the United States to avoid the religious strife that plagued Europe for centuries. (And it is a reason to be skeptical of slogans such as “Zero Tolerance.”) Acceptance goes a step beyond tolerance. If a sign of tolerance is a feeling of “I can live with X (behavior, religion, race, culture, etc.)” acceptance moves beyond that in the direction of “X is OK.” You can tolerate something without accepting it, but you cannot accept something without tolerating it. For example, when a son or daughter tells a parent about an unwelcome career choice, marital partner, or sexual identity, he or she wants that information not just to be tolerated, but to be accepted.
How Can Parents Teach Tolerance?
Like all attitudes, tolerance is often taught in subtle ways. Even before they can speak, children closely watch — and imitate — their parents. Kids of all ages develop their own values, in great part, by mirroring the values and attitudes of those they care about. Parents can teach tolerance by example and in other ways, too. Talking together about tolerance and respect helps kids learn more about the values you want them to have.
1: Notice your own attitudes. Parents who want to help their kids value diversity can be sensitive to cultural stereotypes they may have learned and make an effort to correct them. Demonstrate an attitude of respect for others.
2: Remember that tolerance does not mean tolerating unacceptable behavior. It means that everyone deserves to be treated with respect — and should treat others with respect as well.
3: Acknowledge and respect differences within your own family. Demonstrate acceptance of your children’s differing abilities, interests, and styles. Value the uniqueness of each member of your family.
4: Learn together about holiday and religious celebrations that are not part of your own tradition.
Inspiring Examples Abound On International Tolerance Day
While news headlines might give the impression that tolerance is in short supply these days, many examples of people of different backgrounds showing respect and appreciation for each other can be found. In honor of such efforts, UNESCO sets aside 16 November each year as International Day for Tolerance. The special day is to remind people that building tolerance is often a matter of community and individual work, and not just the responsibility of governments.
This year saw Israelis and Arabs using music, sport, and exploration to promote cooperation and mutual understanding in their region.
One example can be found in Ofer Golany, a Jewish pacifist songwriter who performs with Arab Christian musicians to promote peace.
In another, a group of Israelis and Palestinians undertook a sea trip to Antarctica in January. The operation — dubbed “Breaking the Ice” — saw the team sail on rough seas, walk for days across ice, and scale a previously unclimbed mountain — all to show how Israelis and Palestinians can live and work together in peace.
Elsewhere, Kazakhstan also gave an example of inter-religious tolerance this year. A Lutheran Christian church in Astana faced destruction to make way for new roads and apartments. Murtaza Bulutay, a Kazakh Islamic theologian, was among those who objected to the plan. “It has never been in Islam’s history that prayer buildings and churches of other religions were ever destroyed or damaged,” Bulutay said. “Our religion gives the whole [of] human-kind freedom of faith. Our laws are the same. So, I think, if there is a community lawfully registered and existing without damaging our laws, without threatening Kazakhstan’s sovereignty and its territorial safety, then it would not be right to destroy their preaching house. To destroy [the church] is against common international laws, our laws, our culture, our traditions and our religion.”
Tolerance in various beliefs
The world recognizes that Judaism has brought morality and values to the world: the 10 commandments, brotherhood of man, education, the desire for peace, love your neighbor.
Another value they have introduced is “tolerance.” Not judging another human being — the equality of man.
The Talmud says the following thing. Let’s say someone would point a gun to your head (God forbid) and ask you to kill another person or else he would kill you. What do you think Judaism says?
You have to die rather than kill him or her. Why?
The Talmud answers that you don’t know whose blood is redder. This means that you don’t know who is a better person in God’s eyes.
Christianity is deeply tolerant, and this comes from Jesus himself. He didn’t say,”If your enemy slaps you, slap him back, but harder.”He said,“If you enemy slaps you on the right cheek, offer the other one also.” (Matthew chapter 5 verse 39) Jesus was profoundly tolerant of other people’s beliefs, because he didn’t seek to crush them or attack those who disagreed but gently taught them the truth.
Also in the Holy Bible “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy. But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you “
The Arabian Peninsula during the time of the Prophet was a region in which various faiths were present. There were Christians, Jews, Zoroastrians, polytheists, and others not affiliated with any religion. When one looks into the life of the Prophet, one may draw on many examples to portray the high level of tolerance shown to people of other faiths. The best example of the tolerance shown by the Prophet to other religions may be the constitution itself, called the ‘Saheefah’ by early historians. When the Prophet migrated to Medina
The first article of the constitution was that all the inhabitants of Medina, the Muslims as well as those who had entered the pact from the Jews, Christian, and idolaters, were “one nation to the exclusion of all others.” All were considered members and citizens of Medina society regardless of religion, race, or ancestry. People of other faiths were protected from harm as much as the Muslims, as is stated in another article, “To the Jews who follow us belong help and equity. He shall not be harmed nor his enemies be aided.” Previously, each tribe had their alliances and enemies within and without Medina. The Prophet gathered these different tribes under one system of governance which upheld pacts of alliances previously in existence between those individual tribes.
There are also examples in the life of the Prophet in which he cooperated with people of other faiths in the political arena as well. He selected a non-Muslim, Amr-ibn Umaiyah-ad-Damri, as an ambassador to be sent to Negus, the King of Ethiopia.
Also in the Noble Quran “Let there be no compulsion in religion. Truth has been made clear from error. Whoever rejects false worship and believes in God has grasped the most trustworthy handhold that never breaks. And God hears and knows all things.” Al-Baqarah 256 In fact, the Holy Quran is full of statements showing that belief in this or that religion is a person’s own concern, and that he is given the choice of adopting one way or another. If he accepts the truth, it is for his own good, and that, if he sticks to error, it is to his own detriment.
No punishment for apostasy
It is generally thought that Islam provides a death sentence for those who desert the religion of Islam. Anyone who takes the trouble to read the Quran will see that there is not the least ground for such a supposition.
Buddhism, Hinduism, Jainism, and Taoism:
These religions have a tradition of religious tolerance and of respecting religious diversity.
Buddhism does not support war or any type of violence, and any expression of religious intolerance has to be seen as an exception. In Hinduism, the first virtue to be practiced is ahimsa, the doctrine of non-violence, which is also part of the Buddhist and Jaina teachings. Ahimsa was interpreted by Gandhi as ‘non-violence in a universal sense’ and elevated to the foremost human quality.
Live and let live
When we live and let live, we don’t need to criticize, judge, or condemn others. We have no need to control them or try and make them conform to our way of thinking. We let others live their own lives and we live ours. Live and let live is one of the keys to peace in our lives. When we practice tolerance in our lives we are liberated to work on our own issues. When we use this slogan we end many of the conflicts in our lives and gain the ability to stop new ones before they build into big ones. We must exercise a certain amount of tolerance for differences that exist among us. I needed to understand the decisions I make, my behaviors and morals are all a result of my journey. My journey is no better than your journey, and my pace may not necessarily be your pace.
you should tolerate the opinions and behaviour of others so that they will similarly tolerate your own