What does tolerance mean to me?
As different as people can be, also the ways and words used to describe the term tolerance are very versatile.
For me personally, tolerance is a mixture of things that add up to one extensive meaning. It consists of peace-making, not being indifferent, but rather open-minded. Just like many other things, tolerance starts with the little things; of course, it is about respecting other views, religions, opinions and origins, but seen in a smaller context it is important to think and talk about appreciation.
Appreciate what you and others are provided with and what you share. To appreciate things that seem to have happened naturally to you, but have truly been hard work for the people that went for it and fulfilled the task. Moreover, I feel like tolerance is about appreciating what you have in your opposite. Whether learning to be thankful for things a person surrounding you does or accepting that you may not agree in all point, but you are still able to learn from the different opinion. In addition, at least for me, tolerance is not only about earth and all her givings.
In fact, I guess that tolerance is all about acceptance, progress and learning.
It's learning to be understanding and to show interest to new ways of thinking, new people and new cultures. It's about letting this newly learned things develop into appreciation, interaction and exchange, in order to gain open mindedness and perhaps in some way trust and respect.
Tolerance is not to judge at all and if you fear you are about to judge somebody or something, go ask the corresponding person why he or she did something that might have made you jump to conclusions too quickly, because probably he or she did something that is totally normal to him or her.
Starting with being kind and going on to maybe walking up to this woman or man that you use to see on the train each and every day, but to whom you have never talked to or at least smiled at, ending with joining an organisation there are only so many things you can do that will all have at least a little impact in order to promote and raise awareness on tolerance and its importance.
Written by: Karolin Rippich