Thursday, November 16 is the annual International Day for Tolerance. It was introduced by the United Nations (UN) in 1996 and created to encourage mindfulness and faith in human rights as well as equality and diversity across the world.
What is tolerance? Merriam-Webster dictionary defines tolerance as “sympathy or indulgence for beliefs or practices differing from or conflicting with one’s own.” My take on this definition is that sympathy is used to mean “understanding or common feeling between people” and indulgence to mean “willing to allow excessive leniency, generosity, or consideration.”
The International Day for Tolerance can serve as a reminder for all of us that being tolerant is not simply being indifferent to the status quo. To truly be tolerant I think we need to challenge ourselves to think about current issues from lenses different than our own. Putting a focus towards acceptance of all cultures and diversity in the workplace is not only good for business, but also is simply the right thing to do. netlogx has ingrained tolerance into the company culture. This is highlighted in a few of our operating principles that include: Communication, Kindness, Team work, and Respect. As consultants, it is our job to really dig deep with our clients, stakeholders, and teammates to consider different points of view, understand the problems, and work towards solutions. This type of collaborative process will not be effective if done in isolation.
John Wooden was one of the best men’s basketball coaches of all time. While at UCLA, the team won ten (10) national championships in a span of twelve (12) years. Part of the reason he was so successful was the way he treated others and really cared about his people. I think some of his values that he brought to his personal life and profession would closely align with netlogx’ operating principles. I will end this post with several of my favorite quotes from Coach Wooden that are relevant today as I reflect on the International Day of Tolerance.
“Consider the rights of others before your own feelings, and the feelings of others before your own rights.”
“Well, your greatest joy definitely comes from doing something for another, especially when it was done with no thought of something in return.”
“You can do more good by being good than any other way.”
“Love is the most important thing in the world. Hate, we should remove it from the dictionary.”
You will notice none of these have anything to do with basketball. Competence and technical ability are both important to success, but I think to sustain it in the long term that character, tolerance, and integrity are just as important (if not more important). It is our job and responsibility to carry out these values every day. Happy International Day for Tolerance.