As we celebrate the International Day of Tolerance referred to as Al Tasamuh in Arabic, I’d like to shed some light on why this human value has become extremely important now more than ever.

As the world stands today, we are not only divided by nationalities, borders, flags, national anthems, faith, color, gender, status and level of education, we have drawn yet another divide, the division of personal opinion.

The fundamental basics to unity should be that we all agree on a foundation from which we extract the answers to our well-being and to peaceful coexistence.  This does not mean that we are not unique individuals; but our individuality should not be a source of division, separatism, war and strife.

In my endeavor to connect people and bridge the divide, alleviate misconceptions, and establish a different outlook on life, I would humbly like to share what I have learned:

  • That for this world and all that is in it, to exist and function, is not by chance; and its functioning must have a driver, a leader, a starter.
  • The fact of the matter is that we all have the same hardware (eyes, ears, arms, legs …etc.) the same motherboard, (we laugh, we cry, we are happy, we are sad and so on) and one operating system.
  • We have the basic instinct to survive, but how we survive is our choice. We choose to download, develop, create the software of us, the principles by which we protect our survival.
  • There are two “control panels” within us, logic – our Brain and emotional  – our Hearts. How we use them is the essence our humanity.

Logic: Simply think about the functioning of the universe that runs with pin point precision. Look at its vastness, look at the earth and all it encompasses, reflect, contemplate, question and genuinely seek the logic in it. Could it be by chance, or is this all planned and pre-designed?

Emotion: When we are in trouble, when we are in danger, when we are in a desperate situation, our instincts kick in. Its fight or flight, beg or plead, but in the end our heart motivates us into action.

Those who rely on the premise that there is a Master Planner, a Controller, He is the one we turn to when we are in despair, when the situation is desperate, when the calamity is about to befall us.

If we accept this premise of a higher power, the Creator of all that is created, Sustainer, Provider and Protector the one and only Lord of the Universe for all of mankind and all that is around us, then we also accept that there is a system, that allows us to exercise our most valuable asset that distinguishes the human race from  all that exists – FREE WILL,  and with that the knowledge that there are certain things that are unchangeable and therefore beyond our free will to choose.

What’s most interesting, is that no matter what you believe, pre-design or by chance, Master Planner or you as Master of the Plan, the things that we use so quickly to divide us are simply beyond our control. Ask yourself. Did you choose the color, gender, race, or the country you were born in? Did you choose your parents, your status in this world, or the resources you have around you? Do you choose when, where and how you will leave this life?  The answer is NO.

Therefore, to unite as one human race, we must accept the universal truth that a basic principle of life is the principle that every life is valued. There is no country or border with more right or humanness, no race or ethnicity that in and of itself is elevated. We can distinguish ourselves only by our treatment towards one another. We should rise to leadership by our devotion and justice to the people, and as I mentioned if you believe in a higher power, that God, Eloah, Elohim, Yahweh, Jehovah or Lord, is above all and therefore the Supreme Leader, with an operating system that is right for every living thing on this earth, inclusive of the social, economic and political guidelines that define wrong and right, good and bad.  If this is true, then we must adhere to the guidelines and rules that govern the human coexistence; we have no choice in how to treat one another, as the system requires that we must not discriminate and differentiate between one another based on the superficial.

We must not accept what is being propagated by those who would like to see some rise and others fall, to see a world divided by sectarianism, elitism, and religion. It is only when we recognize the words of great leaders past and present, who championed the philosophies of tolerance and peaceful coexistence that we will also become a great human race, ready to achieve a better life for the collective good. This is the only truth we must adhere to and preserve.

As I always say, renowned people in history are not those who collected the most wealth nor those who were the most beautiful or lived the healthiest lifestyle,  rather they are the simple people who did good; people like Mother Teresa, Ghandi, and for us here in the UAE we regard HH Sheikh Zayed, and HH Sheikh Rashid, for their humanity and acceptance of all.

Therefore, leave a legacy of good, and believe that the good starts with you. Reflect on the bad you do to others and apologies and fix it, also reflect and remember the good others do to you and be grateful and kind. Be a part of the solution, not a bystander to the problem. Tolerate, Accept.