Respect for differences

Respect, consideration, and putting yourself in other people’s shoes is something that we something forget to do when we interact with people from different social or ethnic background. People should respect other people’s opinions and viewpoints to increase the value of tolerance and enhance co-existence. The concept of tolerance is widely mentioned as something to which people and communities should aim, especially because diversity in all manifestations is becoming a more prevalent trait of modern democracies (Hjerm et al., 2020). For instance, when conflicts emerge, some leaders urge greater acceptance of specific groups or support efforts to build “a more tolerant society” generally.

Respecting other people’s viewpoints does not require us to compromise our own. According to Van Fossen et al. (2021), respecting the other person is a necessary component of tolerance, but accepting their viewpoints is not. Any discussion regarding contentious matters would be impossible if acceptance were required as a precondition. In a world where people are becoming increasingly connected, tolerance, intercultural dialogue, and respect for diversity are more crucial than ever (Van Fossen et al., 2021).

We can respect the opinions of others by trying to understand their perspective on the matter. You do not develop and advance by engaging in conflict with others; rather, you do so by learning new insights, viewpoints, and views. In addition, everyone has different life experiences that have shaped how they think about and perceive the world. People should also respect the other person’s opinions by listening to them and asking them probing questions to understand their point of view.


Hjerm, M., Eger, M. A., Bohman, A., & Fors Connolly, F. (2020). A new approach to the study of tolerance: Conceptualizing and measuring acceptance, respect, and appreciation of difference. Social Indicators Research, 147(3), 897-919.

Van Fossen, M., Burns, J. P., Lickona, T., & Schatz, L. (2021). Teaching virtue virtually: Can the virtue of tolerance of diversity of conscience be taught online? Journal of Moral Education, 1-19.

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