Everyday, our classrooms, neighborhoods and communities become more diverse (or different). People from different countries, cultures, religions and with unique abilities, religions and beliefs continue to spread out around the world. Different skin colors, languages, physical abilities and clothes are some of the types of diversity that we experience every day.
How we respond to this diversity will determine not only your future as a person but our future as a society.
As Maya Angelou said, “in diversity there is beauty and there is strength”. Tolerance means being open to the differences that exist among us all. It means respecting and learning from others, valuing our differences and discovering what we have in common.
The opposite of tolerance is prejudice and closed-mindedness. Where there is bullying, wars, fights and arguments, there is very often prejudice and closed-mindedness.
In contrast, people who are open to differences will not only create a more peaceful world, but have better opportunities in life whether through education, work or friendships. So having tolerance will not only change your life for the better, but will make the world a better place.
How here are some great diversity and tolerance quotes for kids:
- “In diversity there is beauty and there is strength.” – Maya Angelou
- “Diversity is the one true thing we all have in common. Celebrate it every day.” – Anonymous
- #Differentisbeautiful – The Happy Soul Project
- Difference is of the essence of humanity. Difference is an accident of birth and it should therefore never be the source of hatred or conflict. The answer to difference is to respect it. Therein lies a most fundamental principle of peace: respect for diversity. – John Hume
- “Peace is not unity in similarity but unity in diversity, in the comparison and conciliation of differences.” – Mikhail Gorbachev
- “The love of one’s country is a splendid thing. But why should love stop at the border?” – Pablo Casals
- “We are of course a nation of differences. Those differences don’t make us weak. They’re the source of our strength.” – Jimmy Carter
- “When I see you through my eyes, I think that we are different. When I see you through my heart, I know we are the same.” – Doe Zantamata
- “Could a greater miracle take place than for us to look through each other’s eyes for an instant?” – Henry David Thoreau
- “United we stand, divided we fall.” – Aesop (620 -560 B.C.)
- “We may have different religions, different languages, different colored skin, but we all belong to one human race.” – Kofi Annan
- “The greater the diversity, the greater the perfection.” – Thomas Berry
- “We have become not a melting pot but a beautiful mosaic. Different people, different beliefs, different yearnings, different hopes, different dreams.” – Jimmy Carter
- “We all live with the objective of being happy: our lives are all different and yet the same.” – Anne Frank
- “Religions are many and diverse, but reason and goodness are one.” – Elbert Hubbard
- “The things that we share in our world are far more valuable that those which divide us.” – Donald Williams
Now here is a great video about diversity for younger kids:
- See all of our other great quotes for kids including our empathy quotes for kids
- Check out IMK stories about supporting human rights, many which show great examples of diversity and tolerance.
- Read IMK stories and watch videos about inspiring, diverse people who have special needs.
Topics for Discussion:
- What does tolerance mean to you?
- What at your top 3 quotes from the list above? Why?
- What people do you know that display a lot of tolerance towards others? How do they do so?
- Talk about a time when you did or did not show tolerance? How did it make you feel? How did it impact others?
- Write down 3 ways that you can show can show more tolerance towards others. Go out and do it! Today.
- Visit the Kids Caring 4 Kids website to learn about this great organization of kids who practice tolerance and how you can get involved!
Teacher and Parent Features:
- Here is a link to a Critical Reading Skills worksheet that you can use for elementary school students.
- Here is a link to a Critical Reading Skills worksheet that you can use for middle school students.
- Here is a great article about teaching tolerance to kids