Approaches to Promote 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.
We become intolerant when we fail to respect or appreciate the beliefs, customs, or opinions of people who are different from us. For instance, there’s a high degree of intolerance between Israeli Jews and Palestinians who don’t see eye to eye on issues of security, self-determination, and identity.
Though tolerance may look like an impossible task in some scenarios, it may aid in helping communities to maneuver past intractable conflicts and remove tensions between groups of individuals. 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 such circumstances, dehumanization, discrimination, violence, and repression may happen. Intolerance results in rifts between folks, creating permanent separations between disagreeing groups.
To promote tolerance, third parties need to remind those involved in a conflict that tolerance is, of course, better in the long term. There have been organizations formed to foster tolerance between conflicting parties. 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 might increase the current animosities instead of lowering the tensions between inter groups. But, groups will base their views of one another on personal experiences through interactions in these inter groups. This will decrease 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 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 circumstances, those participating in the workshops believe that their concerns are heard and recognized.
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.