Nov 16 marks the UN’s international day for tolerance. Set up back in 1996, its aim has been to recognize the diversity of people and to encourage acceptance of different cultures and ways of being human.
With the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine, climate change forcing more migration to the global north, and a general, worldwide economic crisis, there has never been a more urgent time to tackle racism and discrimination.
ACCEPTANCE THROUGH IKIGAI
But how to go about it? Education is an obvious channel. Foundational intercultural, diversity, and inclusion programming —and not just check-the-box one-offs—within workplaces and other organizations is another effective way to get people thinking about those around them in a more empathetic and connected way. And I’d also recommend Ikigai coaching. Ikigai-kan, or the feeling of a life worth living, depends on several needs, among which is resonance. According to the mother of ikigai, Kamiya Mieko, and as cited by japanologist, Nicholas Kemp, resonance is “the need to feel that what one is doing connects with one’s surroundings. This need is really about social affiliation, the desire to build and maintain meaningful interpersonal relationships and to be treated by others in an accepting manner.“
There’s also an overlap with my ADHD training which is an amazing way of tapping into your feelings of self-worth and personal values with acceptance. Because if you don’t appreciate and accept yourself, it’s going to be all the more challenging to do so with others.
Nov 16 is about tolerance, but I’d like to push it further and propose acceptance. Tolerance sounds like ‘putting up with’ and promotes and us vs them mentality, whereas we should be aiming for a feelings of empathy and acceptance of our differences. Whether they be racial, sexual, or accepting neurodivergent people and those with physical disabilities, our unique human experience is just that: unique. Striving to connect with others to learn about and understand their experience not only helps them feel more included but will also enrich your own understanding of yourself, the world, and all its diverse inhabitants.