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There’s no doubt that a world free of tolerance would not be a good place to be. It is the belief of those supporting this day that such a world should never exist – and that everyone has a right to their expression, religion, and their conscience without fear of bias or ridicule. In addition, the idea teaches that a person’s racial or religious background is inconsequential to the potential for tolerance and friendship between them.

In honor of the work that continues to be done in the human race to respect all humans, the International Day for Tolerance is celebrated each year.

History of International Day for Tolerance

This day was established to encourage mindfulness and faith in human rights. In an effort to encourage equality and diversity across the world, the United Nations introduced The International Day for Tolerance in 1996. This particular day was founded following the United Nations Year for Tolerance, which was 1995, in order to observe its teachings every year instead of just letting the ideas fall away. The UN Year for Tolerance was dedicated in honor of the 125th anniversary of the birth of Mahatma Gandhi.

The United Nations defines tolerance as respect, appreciation and acceptance of the diversity of the world’s cultures and all the ways that people are human. It is considered to be a basic human right to receive tolerance, and should be expected to be practiced by not just individuals, but also by groups and states. Human rights is at the core of this thought – as such, it supports the notion that humanity has the right to live in peace.

Along with these thoughts, the International Day for Tolerance also supports the idea that education is a key factor in preventing intolerance across the human race. On this day, people across the world are encouraged to become more educated and learn how to practice solidarity between ethnic, social and cultural groups.

Each year, the common theme for the International Day for Tolerance is to promote “respect, acceptance and appreciation of the rich diversity of our world’s cultures, our forms of expression and our ways of being human”.

How to Celebrate International Day for Tolerance

Looking for ways to participate in and celebrate the International Day of Tolerance? Get on board with the day by learning, growing and sharing in some of these ways:

Create Artwork Around Tolerance

One exceptional way that individuals and groups can participate in the International Day for Tolerance is to create opportunities for folks to build, display and perform artwork along the theme. More than just creating personal pieces of art, it is important to share them with others throughout the community to connect and build relationships.

Some art sharing might include activities around the theme of tolerance, such as:

  • Hosting an art exhibit with paintings, drawings, sculpture and more.
  • Sharing in poetry or a spoken word reading.
  • Putting on a dance or theater performance.
  • Inviting the local community to participate and have a discussion forum that allows folks to share in the journey to making the world a more tolerant place.

Learn About Diversity

Because people all over the world are naturally diverse, the International Day for Tolerance offers a perfect opportunity for anyone to learn just a little bit more about someone who is different than they are. Whether this is through attending a school program that educates kids about other cultures in the world, or by talking to a neighbor who comes from a different background, everyone can take the opportunity to show interest, ask questions and listen to those who have had different experiences.

Read and Share Some Tolerance Quotes

Whether passing them around in an email at work, sharing them on social media or getting them printed on a t-shirt or coffee mug, quotes can be a great reminder for people to live in a way that is more accepting and careful. And instead of just flinging quotes around without thinking about them, be sure to apply them to every day of life, in all situations!

Check out some of these interesting quotes about tolerance to ponder:

  • Tolerance is the only real test of civilization – Arthur Helps
  • Intolerance is the first sign of an inadequate education – Alexander Solzhenitsyn
  • Tolerance is key in unlocking all closed doors – Marina Finci
  • Discord is the great ill of mankind; and tolerance is the only remedy for it – Voltaire

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