Imagine reducing the world’s population of 7.8 billion people to a village of only 100: 61 Asians, 15 Africans, 13 Americans (North and South America) and 11 Europeans would live the- re. There would be 52 women and 48 men. 80 of them would be coloured and only 20 white. There would be 34 Christians, 23 Muslims, 13 Hindus, 7 Buddhists, 11 representatives of other minor religions – only 0.2 percent of them Jews – as well as 10 non-religious and 2 atheists. This would not be a homogeneous village, but a global village of diversity.
In our globalised world, all people are increasingly dependent on each other. Neither of us can avoid the other. The internet and modern means of transport connect different cultures. We are a networked and vulnerable world. With a common destiny and an overall responsibility. Now we must also grow together as individuals and respect the differences.
How can we counter hatred of minorities and other religions and promote respect and philanthropy?
Tolerance must not be equated with a mere granting of permission.
Tolerance must be expanded in the direction of active respect and human love. These are decisive soft elements of peacebuilding in the global village of the 21st century. The dazzling concept of tolerance has several meanings, including forbearance, open-mindedness, absence of prejudice, freedom of movement, respect, generosity and humanity.
Do we need to define tolerance first?
We consider material tolerance, crucial for the reality of people’s lives, a broad term and at the same time an expression of a positive attitude to life: An appreciation and joy of diversity as an enrichment of one’s own life. Respect for the faith, culture and dignity of others. Openness to the world.
It is not only passive, but also includes an active stand against discrimination, xenophobia and intolerant seducers. A positive active philanthropy despite all differences.
In the event of encountering a stranger, an interested, positive and cheerful “Grüß Gott!”, a “Schalom!” or “As-Salam- u alaykum! – a welcome and cordial greeting.
Everyone is entitled to respect. Tolerance is not a one-way street. Those who demand tolerance for themselves must also be tolerant towards their fellow citizens. This applies to minorities and majorities alike. No one may intolerantly impose his world view on others. Mutual respect is imperative. The majority must take into account the concerns of the minority and the minority must respect the wishes of the majority as a practical concordance of tolerance.
We should all be as committed to protecting these fragile foundations of peace as we are to protect our drinking water or the air we breathe.
We must curb the propagandists of hatred and violence against other religions and minorities and thus strengthen the power of love.
But: we do almost nothing for it. It is important that we, the good people, stand up and actively work for the good, contain the radicals and no longer remain silent. Let us light a candle of hope again and again, even when the icy cold wind blows in our faces.
Our main problem is not the few radicals, but the silent majorities. We call on everyone to actively work for more tolerance:
“Silent Majority. Wake up. Stand up. Do not leave a vacuum for the preachers of hate, the extremists, the terrorists, the forces of evil. Do not com- plain about the evil ones, but about yourself, because you are too passive. Light a candle of hope every day. Become an active warrior for love. Promote tolerance and respect every day with many small steps. Join the forces of love and tolerance. Be tolerant out of selfishness. Free yourself in this way. Make yourself great again. Whoever does good, becomes a better and happier person, free from the dark heavy burden of hate. Fight for humanity. Limit racism, extremism and terror. Impeach hatred and the powers of the devil. With zero tolerance for intolerance. Promote humanity wherever and whenever. Fight for good and limit evil. Let us all together create a better world 4.0 for ourselves and our children. Let us build more bridges and not more walls. Tear down our inner walls of mistrust and prejudice. Become more cosmopolitan and say yes to tolerance and diversity – with a thinking heart and loving mind. Get to know other religions, cultures and different ways of thinking and enrich yourself. Treat everyone as you would like to be treated yourself – this has been the Golden Rule of tolerance for 2000 years. Only if you love yourself can you love and tolerate others. Become a polite, better person and make others and yourself happier. Become more human every day, with small friendly deeds. Forgive mistakes, be more gracious and try to reconcile. Turn enemies into opponents and opponents into new friends. Be open. Live and let live. Be kind to everyone. Practice the religion of love. Open your heart. Give love. Be humble. Stand up for love. Love is tolerance and tolerance is love!”