Desmond Tutu stated: "Differences are not intended to separate, to alienate. We are different precisely in order to realize our need of one another."
Sometimes we get caught up in this belief or that philosophy without realizing that we need all viewpoints and ideas. One of my grad professors told our class once upon a time that the collective mind is always better than one mind, one idea. I believe that. It didn't necessarily come easy for me to accept or believe, but I've grown in that knowledge, fostered by teachers, by mentors, and by folks who roll into my life. I think one of the best gifts or "learnings" we can give to our kids, maybe to each other, is the belief that there is always difference of opinion, difference of belief and difference between individuals. That difference and the acceptance of difference is sometimes a hard lesson to learn. But I think kids will learn acceptance and tolerance if we preach it and model it ourselves. It will cause change and you and I both know change isn't necessarily easy. It is difficult because change challenges our patterns of belief and behavior, and sometimes when our pattern of belief and behavior is challenged, we take that as an attack on ourselves. It doesn't have to be viewed or perceived that way though, which I know is easier said than done.
But as Nelson Mandela said, Education is the most powerful weapon we can use to change the world." Part of that education is reflecting on who we are, what we believe, how we react and why we react. It's all education really.
So, let's endeavor to teach ourselves, each other and our kids. Tolerance is learned behavior. We can teach it. I think in the long run, our world will be better off. Don't you?
Live your life and make a difference.