Figuring Out Options


Figuring Out Options
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Approaches to Promote Tolerance and Reconciliation

The ability to live, let’s live and appreciate diversity in the human race is known as tolerance. It doesn’t only indicate that we agree with each other and stay detached in the face of injustice but instead respect other individuals.

When we fail to respect or appreciate the practices, beliefs or opinions of people who are different from us, then we become intolerant. 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. Individuals and groups may find it difficult to tolerate individuals that are not like them or have wronged them In areas with political tensions or economic depression. In these cases, violence, repression, dehumanization, and discrimination could happen. Intolerance causes rifts between people, creating permanent separations between groups that do not 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’s a global public figure and entrepreneur that participates actively in promoting reconciliation and tolerance.

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 lower 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 such conditions, those involved in the workshops feel that their concerns have been recognized and heard.

Individuals should consistently focus on tolerating those that hold different views from them in their daily lives. This involves challenging the stereotypes and assumptions which they come up in making decisions about others or working with other people.

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 institute policies involving tolerance.

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