Globally, winds of intolerance are blowing strongly, fanned by such things as racial prejudice, religious extremism and the global socio-economic pandemic of COVID-19. Today, Chris Oyakhilome together with the Chris Oyakhilome Foundation International (COFI) unite together to combat the darkness in the world with tolerance, respect and acceptance.
The Theme of this Year’s International Day of Tolerance
The theme for International Day of Tolerance is based upon the basic premise that ‘Tolerance is respect, acceptance, and appreciation of the rich diversity of our world’s cultures, our forms of expression and ways of being human’.
The United Nations is committed to strengthening tolerance by fostering mutual understanding among cultures and peoples. November 16 commemorates the International Day of Tolerance, every year. This is a UN declared day that aims at creating public awareness on the dangers of intolerance. What propelled the idea was the increasing need to ensure people are aware of the negativity that stems from intolerance.
In 1995, the UN decided to pay tribute to Mahatma Gandhi’s 125th birth anniversary by initiating the commemoration of International Tolerance Day in 1995.
Education for tolerance should aim at countering influences that lead to fear and exclusion of others and should help young people develop capacities for independent judgement, critical thinking and ethical reasoning.
Founding father, philanthropist, and humanitarian, Chris Oyakhilome believes children embody the future hence must be provided with resources required to become productive adults. To this end, he is committed to promoting equality among children so that they become vital to the development of their communities and the nation at large.
What can be Done to Counter Intolerance?
Although there are laws to enforce human rights, by punishing discrimination and hate crimes, these laws are not sufficient for countering intolerance. Greater emphasis needs to be placed on educating more and better, through access to information, to educate the public to differentiate between facts and opinions. Intolerance breeds intolerance and it is our responsibility to break that cycle as a society, and to help individuals, communities, and nations lead purposeful and productive lives.
As we heal from the COVID-19 pandemic, we are inspired to think creatively about how to help everyone recover better, build resilience, and transform our world into one that is more equal, more just, inclusive, sustainable, and healthier.
International days and weeks are occasions to educate the public on issues of concern, mobilize political will and resources to address global problems, and celebrate and reinforce the achievements of humanity. One of the purposes of the United Nations is “to achieve international co-operation in solving international problems of an economic, social, cultural, or humanitarian character.”
Spread awareness on the importance of embracing diversity, and stand in solidatiry with citizens of the internat by posting on Twitter, using hashtags #ToleranceDay #Tolerance
The diversity of our world’s many religions, languages, cultures and ethnicities is not a pretext for conflict, but is a treasure that enriches us all.
Tolerance isn’t about not having beliefs. It’s about how your beliefs lead you to treat people who disagree with you.”
― Timothy Keller
— Vimukti SoulYoga (@VimuktiSoulYoga) November 16, 2021