Monday, October 30, 2006

Celebrate, do not tolerate

I was reading today’s national news paper and stumbled across a headline that spoke said something about how one of this nations political head thought that “tolerance and hard work” is the key to development.

This “tolerance” does not in any way imply respect, still less approval. Rather the opposite, it implies only a willingness to indulge – i.e. tolerate - something of which one disapproves like, for example, corruption, threats, and complacency.

The proponents of tolerance should understand from the start that they are on sufferance, or permission implied or given by a failure to prohibit. It is not a matter of the public not having objections to what they want to do, but rather of the public's objections not being so grave as to justify prohibition, still less persecution.

Ministers, are very foolish to push at a door which is far from wide open. Asians have a history of using the tolerance rhetoric but for leaders to assume that this will be the key to success is foolish. I am reminded of a lecture at the end of which I was frozen in awe when the speaker showed that beyond mere tolerance comes celebration. To celebrate differences whole heartedly as the key to nation building.
A multi cultural society is not peculiar to Malaysia, and is rather foolish to assume so. It is not enough for the ‘tolerator’ to make an effort to overcome prejudices, unless the tolerated also makes an effort to reciprocate. This message go out loud and clear: we need more than mere toleration. For is nation building is to it must be an exercise of celebration all both parties.

Is any one ready to drop their prejudices to celebrate?


Dr. Deborah Serani said...

Celebrating diversity everywhere is so importnat. I love where I live in New York City. Diversity is on every street!

Steph said...

People who appreciate diversity are those who acknowledge their strengths and their weaknesses.They are those who exchange and share at what they're good at
. People who appreciate diversity are those who can do all these things in peace, not fighting for who is more superior or who is the best.

I love to celebrate diversity. It makes the world more colourful and bigger than we already know.

astrorat said...

Dear All,

My apologies for responding late. I have read your comments and could not agree less.

Being diverse, and more so, celebrating is extremely important for nation, community, and family building. It should be cornerstone of any group.

Thank you for your comments.