November 16

UN International Day for Tolerance


“Technology is connecting us ever more closely, and cross-cultural exchanges are deepening every day
– but this does not mean there is more understanding.”

Tolerance is not passive.  It demands an active choice to reach out on the basis of mutual understanding and respect, especially where disagreement exists. Tolerance means recognizing that our diversity is a strength – a wellspring of creativity and renewal for all societies
Tolerance can, and must, be learned.  We need to teach girls and boys not just how to live together but how to act together as global citizens.  We need to nurture tolerance by promoting cultural understanding and respect – from parliaments to the playground.  We need to tackle growing inequality and reject social exclusion based on gender, disabilities, sexual orientation, and ethnic or religious background.

Tolerance is the strongest foundation for peace and reconciliation.  At this time of rapid and often bewildering change, it has never been so important.  On this International Day, I call on national and community leaders – and all those who wield influence through traditional and social media and among their peers – to embrace tolerance as the bond that will unite us on our common journey to a peaceful, sustainable future.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon


O God, help us to remember that, in our humanity we are one.


Where are my areas of intolerance?
Why do I feel this way? How can I change?

Suggested Reading

O! Thou God of all beings, of all worlds, and of all times,
We pray, that the little differences in our clothes,
in our inadequate languages,
in our ridiculous customs,
in our imperfect laws,
in our illogical opinions,
in our ranks and conditions which
are so disproportionately important to us
and so meaningless to you,
that these small variations
that distinguish those atoms that we call humans
one from another,
may not be signals of hatred and persecution

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

In the practice of tolerance, one’s enemy is the best teacher.”
Dalai Lama XIV

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

I have seen great intolerance shown in support of tolerance.
Samuel Taylor Coleridge