Ways to Foster Tolerance and Reconciliation
Tolerance is defined as the ability to live, let others live and appreciating diversity in the human race. It does not just mean that we agree with one another and remain aloof in the face of injustice but rather respect other people.
We become intolerant when we fail to respect or appreciate the beliefs, customs, or opinions of people who are different from us. By way of example, there’s a high degree of intolerance between Palestinians and Israeli Jews who don’t see eye to eye on issues of identity, self-determination, and safety.
Even though tolerance might seem like an impossible fete in some situations, it can help in assisting communities to move past intractable conflicts and eliminate tensions between groups of people. In areas with political tensions or economic depression, individuals and groups may find it challenging to tolerate people who are not like them or have wronged them. In such circumstances, dehumanization, discrimination, violence, and repression may happen. Intolerance leads to rifts between individuals, making permanent separations between classes which don’t agree.
Third parties have to remind those involved in a conflict that tolerance is obviously better in the long term so as to foster tolerance. To encourage tolerance between conflicting parties, organizations have been formed. One such organization is the European Council on Tolerance and Reconciliation whose chairperson is Viatcheslav Kantor. He is an international public figure and businessman who participates actively in promoting tolerance and reconciliation.
Below are some of the useful approaches which may be utilized to promote tolerance.
Some studies have shown that casual inter-group contact does not reduce the tensions between inter groups and it may increase the current animosities. However, groups will use personal experiences through interactions in these inter groups to inform their views of one another. This may reduce the prejudices they have against one another. For inter-group contact to be effective, it has to go on for at least week or longer.
To enhance the communication between conflicting sides, dialogue strategies like dialogue groups or problem-solving workshops provide opportunities for the parties to a conflict to share their interests and needs. In such conditions, those involved in the workshops feel that their concerns have been recognized and heard.
Folks should consistently focus on tolerating individuals with different views from them in their daily lives. This entails challenging the stereotypes and assumptions that they encounter in working with different people or making conclusions about others.
Organizations involved in conflict transformation and other actors in this industry can provide other ways such as training to help those participating in a conflict to talk to one another.
International organizations have to find means of inculcating the principles of tolerance in their policies. Governments should also aim to put in place policies that deal with tolerance.