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A truly tolerant society is one that espouses a selfless attitude towards others. If we are tolerant only up to the point were we are guaranteed our comforts then this is nothing more than giving out of our excess. That is not being tolerant that is just self appeasement – we feel good about it no doubt, but haven’t achieved much either.
We cannot measure how tolerant we are willing to be in terms of economic factors. To really become a tolerant society we must be ready to give up some of our comforts in order that others can move forward in life.
And who are the ‘others’? The other is the person next door who is of a different faith persuasion; different sexual orientation; different political view. Other is the family leaving behind their country ravaged by war. Other is the brother and sister going abroad to find work to support their family.
To become truly tolerant we must tear down the walls of fear we built around us. Let us not be fearful of what is different but rather recognize diversity as a huge challenge that will enable us to grow, as a family, as a society, as a nation, as one humankind.
Let us ensure that this century, our century, goes down in history as the moment when we turned our back on centuries of intolerance to a brighter future.