Ways to Foster Tolerance and Reconciliation
Appreciating diversity in the human race, the ability to live and let live is referred to as tolerance. It does not just mean that we agree with one another and remain aloof in the face of injustice but rather respect other people.
When we fail to respect or appreciate the practices, beliefs or opinions of people who are different from us, then we become intolerant. For example, there is a high level of intolerance between Palestinians and Israeli Jews who do not see eye to eye on matters of self-determination, identity, and security.
Although tolerance might appear like an impossible thing, in some scenarios, it can help in assisting communities to move past conflicts which are intractable and remove tensions between groups of people. In regions having political tensions or economic depression, groups and individuals may find it hard to tolerate individuals that are not like them or have wronged them. In these conditions, discrimination, dehumanization, violence, and repression could occur. 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. There have been organizations formed to foster tolerance between conflicting parties. The European Council on Tolerance and Reconciliation is one such organization whose chairperson is Viatcheslav Kantor. He is an international businessman and public figure who participates actively in promoting tolerance and reconciliation.
Below are a few of the useful approaches that might be used 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. But, groups will base their views of one another on personal experiences through interactions in these inter groups. This may reduce the prejudices they have against one another. For inter-group contact to work, it must go on for a week or more.
To improve the communication between sides which are, dialogue mechanisms like problem-solving workshops or dialogue groups give opportunities for the parties to a conflict to express their needs and interests. In these cases, people that take part in these workshops feel that their concerns are recognized and heard.
People should always concentrate on tolerating those that hold different views from them in their everyday lives. This involves challenging the assumptions and stereotypes which they come across in working with other people or making decisions 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 should find methods to Inculcate tolerance principles in their policies. Additionally, governments should target to set up policies which handle tolerance.