According to the dictionary, tolerance is the acceptance of something that one does not necessarily like or agree with without interference. I would go a step further and say tolerance is appreciating the differences and diversity around you. America is the great "melting pot," a rich blend of cultural traditions from all over the world.
Many American families can trace their histories to immigrant ancestors who traveled great distances, enduring risk and hardship, to make a home where they would be guaranteed basic freedoms. The differences that come from people from all over the world enrich our culture, bringing new ideas and energy. Today, more than ever, people are interacting with people of differing ethnicities, religions, and cultures. Differences are not something to be looked down upon.
We should all celebrate our differences. Differences make us unique. We are all different. Whether we have different skin color, different hair color, different eye color, different likes and dislikes, or we come from different families - none of these things should determine whether you like someone or not. Tolerance refers to an attitude of openness and respect for the differences that exist among people. America was founded on tolerance of differences in beliefs and cultural heritage.
The differences (or diversity) that come from people from all over the world enrich our culture, bringing new ideas and energy to our nation. Tolerance is about respecting and learning from others, valuing differences, bridging cultural gaps, rejecting unfair stereotypes, discovering common ground, and creating new bonds.
Everyone has something valuable inside that we may not see at first. We all have soft centers: feelings, hopes, dreams, fears, and insecurities. Making the effort to get to know what makes someone special on the inside helps us to learn, grow, and practice tolerance.