International Day for Tolerance

by NDFAuthors

  • Nov 16, 2014

Established by the United Nations, the International Day for Tolerance is held on 16 November each year.

Today we focus on educating people about the need for tolerance in society and helping them understand the negative effects of intolerance.The International Day for Tolerance is a day in which people should learn about respecting and recognizing the rights and beliefs of others. Live discussions and debates take place across the world on this day, focusing on how various forms of injustice, oppression, racism and unfair discrimination have a negative impact on society.


On this International Day for Tolerance, I call on all people and governments to actively combat fear, hatred and extremism with dialogue, understanding and mutual respect. Let us advance against the forces of division and unite for our shared future – Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon.

Let us strive to be more tolerant and promote tolerance whenever we can. Here are some of the ways how we can define tolerance:

  • Tolerance refers to an attitude of openness and respect for the differences that exist among people. Although originally used to refer to ethnic and religious differences, the concepts of diversity and tolerance can also be applied to gender, people with physical and intellectual disabilities, and other differences, too.
  • Tolerance means respecting and learning from others, valuing differences, bridging cultural gaps, rejecting unfair stereotypes, discovering common ground, and creating new bonds. Tolerance, in many ways, is the opposite of prejudice.
  • Tolerance is knowing how to understand what others think and to respect their views even if we seriously disagree and are tempted to try to change their minds.


  • Tolerance is when you use patience. When another person says something really wrong, be patient and instead of imposing your opinion, state with reasonable arguments why the other person is wrong.
  • Tolerance is when you avoid arrogance and stubbornness. Divorces, job loss, friendship ends and other similar circumstances occur, sometimes, as a consequence for not listening and being too focused of our own opinions.
  • Tolerance is about accepting people for who they are “” not about accepting bad behavior. Tolerance also means treating others the way you would like to be treated.
  • Tolerance is connected with avoidance. If the other person insists on making their opinion known as fact, and in that manner makes your opinion wrong in a disrespectful manner, move away from them and allow some time for them to calm down. If they persist in doing the same thing, then avoid them. If that person cannot be avoided because they’re a coworker you have to work with, for example, demand your rights. But do not become as immature as they are.


Share with us what tolerance means to you. We’d like to hear your ideas and opinion regarding this important issue.