Tolerance is not possible without kindness. It is through kindness that we are able to put ourselves in the other person’s shoes and feel what they feel. Kindness and tolerance are key factors in our growth into outstanding adults, so starting at a young age is crucial. We can reason right from wrong, and we can especially learn and grow. When we neglect to teach children the basics – people are all different and we should all love each other – we all lose. They need to be taught love and acceptance, tolerance and kindness. To be tolerant is also to teach that we are equal. In doing this for our children we welcome a more accepting future.
Every human being has their originality, but all humans are very much alike. It is said that 99.9 of the DNA each of us has is identical to every other person’s DNA (Highfield 2002). Since we can usually see the difference in the color of someone’s skin or different features of each other we label such persons “different”. We all belong to the human race, and there are just minute differences between us. It’s important to teach our children kindness and tolerance of others, which includes being respectful.
As a parent, it is my job to teach my child to always be kind and tolerant of others. Since I know she will be looking to me as a role model, it is essential that I mirror how accepting we should be of others. How she is treated by others is just as important to me as how she treats other people, so I work on instilling in her the strength to now she is capable of being kind and tolerant. I want to teach my child that it’s essential to include and befriend kids who seem different from her.
As I have become older, I have seen a pattern of people being, or becoming, less tolerant and more unkind to each other. I think that when we experience differences among one another, the result depends greatly on how forgiving we are of the other person. Showing kindness and tolerance in our dealings with people does go a long way. People are dealing with their own battles every day, and without walking in their shoes we don’t know exactly where they might be coming from. Being kind to someone even in a heated argument can quickly put out the fire. Simply stated, ‘tolerance is recognizing and respecting each other’s beliefs and practices without sharing in them.’ Being tolerant doesn’t mean that we have to agree with their views but being tolerant of their opinion is what is important.
Being tolerant of and caring for one another is a human instinct. By teaching my child to be tolerant and kind she will appreciate why other people are different from her which will encourage peaceful and meaningful relationships throughout her life. Research has shown that children who don’t develop characteristics such as compassion, tolerance, sympathy, and kindness ‘may, at best, have limited opportunities for social interaction and, at worst, come to believe that they are not responsible for their own actions.’ (Larson n.d.). Being more aware of my behaviors and ensuring that those characteristics are displayed will set the example of how my child should treat others.
The importance of tolerance has been exuded by the United Nations and annually observes International Day for Tolerance every year. The UNESCO brings out that ‘tolerance recognizes the universal human right and fundamental freedoms of others. People are naturally diverse; only tolerance can ensure the survival of mixed communities in every region of the globe.’ (International n.d.). I am going to continue to teach my child the importance of tolerance and kindness and in turn, show her that the reward will bring peace and meaning to her life.
- Highfield, R. (2002, December 20). DNA survey finds all humans are 99.9pc the same. Retrieved January 3, 2019, from https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/1416706/DNA-survey-finds-all-humans-are-99.9pc-the-same.html
- International day of tolerance. (n.d.). Retrieved December 30, 2018, from https://en.unesco.org/commemorations/toleranceday
- Larson, J. (n.d.). Teaching children kindness, tolerance and compassion [Blog post]. Retrieved from https://imaginationsoup.net/teaching-children-kindness-tolerance-and-compassion/