Diversity Series: Arun Gandhi on the Inadequacy of Teaching “Tolerance”


This article was published as part of Gandhi’s Be Magazine’s #BeTheChange series, exploring social and environmental innovation through the lens of nonviolence, shaping our own personal thoughts, choices, and actions as we commit to being the change we wish to see in the world.

By Arun Gandhi
Fifth Grandson of Mahatma Gandhi
Co-Founder of Gandhi Global Center For Peace

In recent decades we have emphasized the value of teaching people “tolerance.” Tolerance is not only inadequate, it is a negative concept which only alienates society further. Learning to tolerate absolves people of the responsibility of learning to understand different people, accept and appreciate their differences, and progress towards respecting them for who and what they are. It is only when we build acceptance between people that we will rid ourselves of the scourge of prejudice and liberate ourselves from violence.

Excerpt from Arun Gandhi’s book “Gandhi’s Legacy of Love.”