The Beauty of Tolerance

By Serenity Beaumont, Spiritual Life Junior Division Head

“We must take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented” -Elie Wiesel

I had the privilege of reading one of the most vulnerable, honest, raw, and impactful memoirs a couple weeks ago. The memoir is Night by Elie Wiesel. Wiesel is a Holocaust survivor who recently died in 2016. Through the entirety of his book, he writes of his genuine experiences during the Holocaust as he struggled with the monster he gradually saw himself turning into and his view of humanity and of God. After the Holocaust, he had an awakening to aiding conflicts in Israel, his home country. But he also birthed a fascination and obligation to help with other adversities and genocides around the world. He gave many lectures to many different colleges, one of which my parents in their junior year of college at Boston University, witnessed. That day, Wiesel had lectured about a very important idea, the tolerance of humanity.

Our history has consistently shown a great intolerance of groups within the human race. The Civil Rights movement fought against discrimination based on race, and the Holocaust embodied discrimination against religion, just to name a few. This intolerance is obviously wrong, and this mindset has led our world into a deep spiral of hate and indifference. One of our LCA peers has said, “We, as a people, need to see that everyone is not perfect, but we shouldn’t make others feel insecure.” I believe this is very profound. We need to realize that we should not hurt people regardless of their imperfections.I know I might sound like a broken record, but we should all need to treat each other with respect. In 1 Corinthians 15:49, Paul writes that we all “bear the image of the man of heaven” which is Jesus. With this in mind, we should view others the same way God views us, as beautiful creations.