Tolerance seems like such an impatient word. Why wouldn’t we be “tolerant?” Even the most broadminded person often is aware of internal prejudices, stereotypical judgments and bias. We may have been raised a certain way or absorbed the bias as we were growing. I believe that step one is to be aware and truthful with ourselves each time we notice a thought or feeling that indicates intolerance, and then teach children to continue to be open, loving, accepting and joyfully curious and respectful of all others who are different from us. Teaching children tolerance early in life prevents harassment, bullying, by-stander silence, teasing and gossiping later on. Let’s teach children that differences are interesting to discover and share with one another, and also emphasize that we are all the same…everyone breathes, bleeds, cries, smiles and has feelings in the same way…let’s celebrate our diversity and our similarities by example, as well as through stories and songs that emphasize acceptance, love and tolerance. My “Peace Begins with Me” Concerts reinforce the value of tolerance within a “one planet” philosophy, and I look forward to sharing my teaching concert with you. This concert is available for preschool, elementary school, intergenerational and for adult gatherings.
Cheryl Melody Award-Winning Performing artist for children and adults www.cherylmelody.com