November 16

UN International Day for Tolerance
Reflection

International Day for Tolerance is a day to celebrate the differences between cultures and creeds and appreciate what they bring to our lives. It is based on the premise that we should live in unity rather than be divided. This day calls us to reach out on the basis of mutual understanding and respect, especially where disagreement exists. The Day of Tolerance is important because more work needs to be done to deal with intolerance in our nation. UN statistics show that, on average, eight black people, three white people, three gay people, three Jewish people, and one Latino person become hate crime victims daily. Fifty percent of all the hate crimes in the U.S. are committed by people between the ages of 15 and 24. Every hour in the United States somebody commits a hate crime, and race is the main motive in most hate crimes reported, followed by sexual orientation and religion. No one is born with inherent hate. Hate crimes stem from a learned behavior or one’s self-taught bias. Tolerance can be learned.  We need to teach our children how to live together and give the example of our own cultural understanding and respect. Tolerance means recognizing that our diversity is a strength. It is the bond that will help us create a peaceful and productive future.

Prayer

May we remember that, in our humanity we are one.

Action

Where are my areas of intolerance? Why do I feel this way? How can I change? Read about different cultures and life styles.  Listen to others.

Suggested Reading

I appeal to you to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them.
Romans 16:17

 So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.
Matthew 7:12 

Source of Many Names
The words we use to honor you are different and diverse
Help us see that beneath all these differences
We are all connected
Allow us to see beauty in our religious diversities,
And show us ways to honor each other,
No matter which way we choose to connect to You.
Let acceptance among all people of all faiths
Be cherished as a great virtue.
Prayer For Religious Tolerance 

They complain … [because they say] if he is not one of us, he cannot do good. If he is not of our party, he cannot do good. And Jesus corrects them: ‘Do not hinder him, he says, let him do good.’ The disciples were a little intolerant, closed off by the idea of ​​possessing the truth, convinced that those who do not have the truth, cannot do good. This was wrong . Jesus broadens the horizon. The root of this possibility of doing good that we all have is in creation.
Pope Francis

A serious threat to peace is posed by intolerance, which manifests itself in the denial of free conscience to others.
Pope John Paul ll

If we cannot end now our differences, at least we can help make the world safe for diversity.
John F. Kennedy 

Ignorance and prejudice are the handmaidens of propaganda. Our mission, therefore, is to confront ignorance with knowledge, bigotry with tolerance, and isolation with the outstretched hand of generosity.
 Kofi Annan

Tolerance of intolerance is cowardice.
Ayaan Hirsi Ali

The highest result of education is tolerance.
Helen Keller

Tolerance is giving to every other human being every right that you claim for yourself.
Robert Green Ingersoll

Difference is of the essence of humanity. Difference is an accident of birth and it should therefore never be the source of hatred or conflict. The answer to difference is to respect it. Therein lies a most fundamental principle of peace: respect for diversity.
John Hume

If tolerance, respect and equity permeate family life, they will translate into values that shape societies, nations and the world.
Kofi Annan

Tolerance isn’t about not having beliefs. It’s about how your beliefs lead you to treat people who disagree with you.
Timothy Keller

No one is born hating another person…People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.
Nelson Mandela

We have to transcend our differences to transform our future.
Antonio Guterres

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