• UN International Day for Tolerance 2014 PhotoUN's Official Website
  • UN International Day for Tolerance 2014 PhotoUN's Official Website

The United Nation's International Day for Tolerance is a very important social observance celebrated annually on 16 November.

The main aim of the day is to educate people about the need for tolerance in society and to help them understand the adverse effects of prejudice and hatred on any ground.

Often referred to as a day for people to learn and imbibe the principles of respecting and recognising the rights and beliefs of others, many educators and preachers use themes of this day to help pupils and society to understand the need to respect and recognise the rights and beliefs of others.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has designated a special place within the UN observances for this day.

"On this International Day of Tolerance, I call on all people and governments to actively combat fear, hatred and extremism with dialogue, understanding and mutual respect. Let us advance against the forces of division and unite for our shared future," he said in a statement ahead of the day.

The day was first observed in 1996 in a UN resolution.

Here are 10 special quotes from famous personalities on subjects such as love, brotherhood, understanding, respect and human solidarity that we could share to mark this socially enlightening day:

Quotes Related to Tolerance:

  1. "What is tolerance? It is the consequence of humanity. We are all formed of frailty and error; let us pardon reciprocally each other's folly – that is the first law of nature." – Voltaire, 18th Century French Philosopher
  2. "The first step towards change is awareness. The second step is acceptance." – Nathaniel Branden, an American psychotherapist
  3. "Tolerance is giving to every other human being every right that you claim for yourself." – Robert Green Ingersoll, 19th Century American orator
  4. "Love is not just tolerance. It's not just distant appreciation. It's a warm sense of, 'I am enjoying that fact that you are you.'" – N. T. Wright, New Testament scholar
  5. "Where the mind is biggest - the heart, the senses, magnanimity, charity, tolerance, kindliness, and the rest of them scarcely have room to breathe." – Virginia Woolf, English writer
  6. "Anyone who wants to live in peace and freedom will be to live by toil, demonstration of high levels of discipline and tolerance for one another." –Yahya Jammeh, President of the Gambia
  7. "I am a lover of truth, a worshipper of freedom, a celebrant at the altar of language and purity and tolerance." – Stephen Fry, English comedian, writer, presenter
  8. "The fact is we can only love what we know personally. And we cannot know much. In public affairs, in the rebuilding of civilization, something less dramatic and emotional is needed, namely tolerance." – E. M. Forster, 19th Century English writer
  9. And as I've gotten older, I've had more of a tendency to look for people who live by kindness, tolerance, compassion, a gentler way of looking at things." – Martin Scorsese, American filmmaker
  10. "The test of courage comes when we are in the minority. The test of tolerance comes when we are in the majority." – Ralph W. Sockman, former pastor of Christ Church in New York City