The International Day of Tolerance is celebrated on 16 November, which was launched by the UNESCO decision in 1995. The word “tolerance” is derived from the Latin word tolerantia which means patience. On this day, it is encouraged to be more patient and tolerant of other opinions and beliefs, to draw the public’s attention to people’s differences based on gender, race, nationality, religion, social status, orientation, etc. Events are organized in different countries and organizations to develop tolerance and the ability to understand others.
Kaunas University of Applied Sciences student representation initiated the campaign “What does tolerance mean to you?”, during which a stack of paper leaflets with students’ answers to this question came from the faculties within a few weeks.
Smiltė Juraitė, Head of the Marketing and Communication Office of Kaunas University of Applied Sciences, welcomes the students initiative and notes that it perfectly complements the tolerance project “Respect & Support” which started in the autumn.
“I believe that tolerance needs to be taught – responsibly, consistently, and patiently. We need us all to finally understand what responsibility is against another person and how much can be done and achieved if the level of compassion and empathy in society is higher,” S. Juraitė shares her thoughts.
“We explain how we all understand tolerance, talk about whether there are tolerance limits, learn to respectfully accept different opinions, even if it does not correspond to yours. It is delightful that steps are being taken at Kaunas University of Applied Sciences, which will introduce more clarity among community members on the position of the organization on issues of tolerance and respect for each other: the Kaunas University of Applied Sciences Equal Opportunities and Diversity Programme is being finalized, the tolerance project “Respect & Supported” has started, and the respect promoted and cherished in the community is one of the 5 values of the Kaunas University of Applied Sciences”, S. Juraitė shares about actions to increase tolerance.
Rugilė Švabauskaitė, a student of the English Language for Public Relations Study Programme at Kaunas University of Applied Sciences, reveals that tolerance in the community allows every member of it to feel accepted and understood. To achieve this, it is important to monitor your behavior, learn to respect different opinions.
“I think that without tolerance there would be very little love – love for oneself, loved ones and those around you, and life without love – it is “all seasons, but without summer or rock ‘n’ roll without a drummer”. As a student, it is important to me that the environment in which I spend most of my time does not cause negative emotions for me and those around me. I believe that tolerance helps members of the community to establish and strengthen interrelationships, unites them, so it is important to foster it, which can be done by observing their behavior and following the principles of tolerance,” says R. Švabauskaitė.