Can An Inclusive and Tolerant Society Exist?

The key to a society’s soul is its people; the key to its people’s souls is empathy and understanding. So when someone asks if it is possible to have an inclusive and tolerant society, I find myself facing a conundrum that exists silently around me every day. When I see a poor old man in rags being avoided on the road, I am reminded of myself. In addition, it makes me think of myself whenever I see an old man in rags being helped across the street by a small, innocent child. A globalized world, a civilisation, is advancing towards a period of global connectivity and newness. We belong to this civilisation. 

Regardless, the world we live in today exists because someone, somewhere, contributed their efforts to this world’s various developments. Our human minds constantly engage in creating generalizations and discriminations. Our world is forever split between them and us. It seems as though our tendency for pseudo-speciation is getting a better hold of us, and the opportunities for patience and tolerance in the modern world of speed and dogmatism are as slim as a house of cards on crooked rails.

Even so, when someone asks me whether it is possible to have a tolerant and inclusive society, I find myself surrounded by bleak rays of hope. These rays touch my face and blow over when I open my eyes. My heart is touched when I see a man giving up his prejudices to help a young woman with her baby. However, my heart is blown away when I see a man ruled by his prejudices and does not offer his hand to help.

Ideas and visions for a healthy, tolerant and inclusive society have been with us since the beginning of our existence.

 His Holiness, the 14th Dalai Lama holds the view that

 ‘compassion and tolerance are not the signs of weakness, but strength’

42:43 of the Holy Qur’an reads, “There is no compulsion in(accepting)the religion (of Islam)..”

The Maha Upanishad Chapter 6, Verse 72 reads, “only small men discriminate saying: One is a relative; the other is a stranger. For those who live magnanimously, the entire world constitutes but a family.” 

Ephesians4:2 of the Bible guides you to be completely humble and gently- 

“with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love.” 

Mahatma Gandhi promoted the cause of social equality and social inclusion. 

Despite these numerous great voices around us, we fail to make a house that respects and nurtures all. Is that not insulting to our entire mortal race?

None of us is born perfect. All we strive for is to climb the mountain of perfection to its zenith and view the world around us with a stopgap that we’ll noway fall. But what if some of us are noway allowed to climb over the Nadir?

The price we pay when the fabric starts decaying is the ceaseless loss of lives and stopgap; the ceaseless and unwanted fueling to causes of terrorism, violence and the social discord-a price we tend to neglect. Our perception is that terrorism and violence have been kindly lost, fastening on the issues themselves and not the processes that flourish them. Cerebral dispositions are frequently criticized for the atrociousness conditioning we come through.

Yet, it is true that it is our fault. We have created safe boundaries for ourselves, but we’re still at risk. We might not be touched today by the actions of one man or more. We might not be cognizant of the actions of one man or more. When walking across a street, does a tiny act of gratitude or affection put a smile on your face? But does a tiny act of injustice or an act propounding hatred dismay you? We are individuals trying not to be mashed in the pressure cooker called a crowd. 

We are individuals trying to make a mark in the society that we belong to, in the society that belongs to us. So if someone asks me if it is possible to have a tolerant and inclusive society, I find myself searching through the labyrinths of my thoughts; finding myself in the presence of cocoons hanging from a tree amidst the wilderness of desires and hope; finding myself unbosoming the little pipe dreams of a society whose soul is waiting to be heard. 

It’s possible to make a society that creates a society that respects each, nurtures all and loves all because WE create a society in as numerous ways as a society creates us. A society that respects all don’t anticipate you to put down your opinions for the peace of others, but to accept some excrescences and not push them down because your opinions differ. A society that nurtures all doesn’t ask you to take up loads of initiating sweats to make the world a better place but to offer your hand for service to anyone who needs it, irrespective of the judgements and prejudices you hold. A society that loves all doesn’t demand you to let your tone- regard is hurt time and again simply for the cause of esteeming others but to still hold on and hope for change and help the world around you so that your affection and sanguinity radiates energy in the society.

A society whose people honour the actuality of different humans, whose soul offers humanity to create a formal institution to live in creates a tolerant and inclusive society. A society wherein disgruntlement is disregarded, wherein a person’s requirements and solicitations, if not fulfilled, are at least conceded without making hypotheticals,  creates a tolerant and inclusive society. A society wherein a person isn’t kept down from engaging in social hobbies and erecting networks creates a tolerant and inclusive society. A society where no bone Is limited to pursue and claim his rights is a tolerant and inclusive society. A society where a person can completely share in the diurnal affairs of the fabric without being denied coffers is a tolerant society. Such a society is possible if WE, who create a society, let ourselves immerse into the ocean of meekness, affection and selflessness. Such a society is possible if WE who regenerate a society let ourselves lounge in the light of knowledge, responsibility and goodwill. So yet again, when someone asks me if it’s possible to have an inclusive and tolerant society, I find myself facing the nostrum to the riddle that reads, “Yes, it is. It’s possible to create a tolerant and inclusive society with visibility, availability, consideration, and above all. Goodwill.

-Ramita Misra 

SY Bsc. Economics

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