“Tolerance is not looking with your eyes, but rather with your heart.”- Katrina Taylor
Children are born with the ability to look with their hearts and see with their eyes and as they grow all of us around them teach them to look at the world with their eyes- to observe the differences , to note the colour, the poverty, the race, the religion, the accent, the appearance of others around them.
I was inspired to teach tolerance to children at my school when I realized that I don’t need to teach that to children. All I need is to ask adults to embody tolerance so that children may learn that tolerance is not merely tolerating a being or allowing another to exist but in doing so to treat with respect and dignity, what we often do not understand or seek to understand.
To be truly tolerant is to have achieved the highest pinnacle of education. Yet the educated are building walls of intolerance, fanning hatred and creating a divide that is fracturing our world into a zillion shards of hatred I am not talking merely religious intolerance here. I am talking of men being intolerant of women in the work place, children not playing with others because of their colour, people holding views on diverse topics from politics to yoga without understanding the multiple facets each form has.
Tolerance comes with the understanding that diverse forms of species and people have lived and will continue to people this earth and everyone has a right to be here because they are the children of the universe Some are born poor, others less intelligent, some are lazy, others aggressive and they will all exist side by side and always have.
Who are we to wish them away if you have no time to listen to them? Who are we to deny them existence in our land, in our neighborhood or even our thoughts because they are not like us? Who are we to say that our thoughts are the right ones when no one really knows what is right or wrong?
Tolerance is a deep understanding of the universe and creation. It is the highest form of existence embracing all that we know and all that we don’t with the same amount of love, respect and dignity. So if we must teach our children tolerance, we must live it.
Educated people choose to live in neighborhoods where only a certain race live or they choose to get married to one of their own kind or they decry others because they pray to another God. We think we are more tolerant because we have an academic degree but tolerance is of the heart and not the mind. When we begin to look once again at the world as we did when we were children, we will see that what matters is not the colour but the courage, not the race but the resilience to live, not the riches but the generosity of spirit
How can we profess our love for God whom we have not seen when we cannot love his creations?