Today is the International Day of Tolerance, designated by the UN in 1996. The United Nations is committed to strengthening tolerance by fostering mutual understanding among cultures and peoples. This imperative lies at the core of the United Nations Charter, as well as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and is more important than ever in this era of rising extremism and violent conflicts that are characterized by a fundamental disregard for human life.

Here we share 10 of the most powerful quotes about the concept of tolerance. Please include your favorite quotes in the comments section below.


“If you judge people you have no time to love them.” – Mother Teresa

mother teresa holding a baby in her arms

“Tolerance is giving to every other human being every right that you can claim for yourself.” – Robert Green Ingersoll

“Our indifference or cruelty towards fellow creatures of this world sooner or later affects the

Pope Francis kisses a baby as he arrives to lead the weekly audience in Saint Peter's Square at the Vatican. (Stefano Rellandini/Reuters photo)

(Photo: Stefano Rellandini/Reuters photo)

treatment we mete out to other human beings” – Pope Francis

“A society will be judged on the basis of how it treats its weakest members.” – Pope John Paul II

“If civilization is to survive, we must cultivate the science of human relationships – the ability of all peoples, of all kinds, to live together, in the same world at peace.” – Franklin D.Roosevelt

Martin Luther King addressing a large crowd tolerance

(Photo: Hulton-Deutsch Collection/CORBIS)

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” – Martin Luther King Jr.

“In the practice of tolerance one’s enemy is the best teacher.” – Dalai Lama

“Tolerance of intolerance is cowardice.” – Ayaan Hirsi Ali

“In order to have faith in his own path, he does not need to prove that someone else’s path is wrong.” – Paulo Coelho

 “My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together.” – Archbishop Desmond Tutu


Medicine shouldn’t be a privilege

Help deliver medicines where they are needed most.