International Day of Tolerance: How can we re-learn to be tolerant of other viewpoints?

Ten days ago, it was the International Day of Tolerance. According to the Collins Dictionary (, “tolerance is the quality of allowing other people to say or do as they like, even if you do not agree or approve it“. In other terms, tolerance is respect for freedom of others, for their ways of thinking, behaving, and for holding other opinions, whether political, religious, or ideological.

If we are not naturally indulgent and understanding of others, how can we cultivate this attitude? How can we stop falling, and get stuck, into the trap of accusing others of being traitors, just because they do not hold our same viewpoints? How can we learn not to jump fast to accuse them of racism, phobia, or of other vices?

How can we continue to believe in, and even honour, our ideas without taking ourselves too seriously? How not to become entitled to the point of imposing our own vision of the world on others? To what extent can we tolerate others’ viewpoints even without understanding them?

How can we learn to listen to others’ viewpoints, with an open mind, in order to challenge, or enrich, our own thoughts or thinking process? How can we learn, unlearn, or re-learn an idea, as needed? Furthermore, how can our sense of tolerance, respect, and even love for others broaden our horizons, enrich our minds, and improve our communications skills?

Related to the above, how can tolerance help us foster freedom of expression, as a principle for ALL, that is for others whom we do not agree with and for ourselves? How could it prevent disrespect, defamation, and exclusion? Alternatively, regardless of the diverse viewpoints, how could it contribute to a deep sense of shared humanity with others, which is a precious antidote against abuses and strife?

Enough of questions for now. Bambi will be tolerant with you. She will stop here :). To conclude this post, one beautiful French song, by Mr. Enrico Macias, comes to Bambi’s mind now. Yes, it is called “La tolérance” and it is timely today.

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