…….Tolerance seems to be one of the most essential rules in life, if the world is to realize sustainable peace………
This week, Rwanda’s national broadcaster RBA was honored to host President Paul Kagame in an interview that got people talking especially on social media – from applauds to exchanges in what was more like a difference in opinion or one exercising their freedom of expression and others playing custodians of freedom of expression. As someone who is passionate about peace building, from my studies and still studying more, I have realized that tolerance seems to be one of the most essential rules in life, if the world is to realize sustainable peace. One Journalist Edmund Kagire posted a tweet questioning why a less known face from the French department at RBA beat the pecking order to land the opportunity of interviewing the President.
His tweet got replies of both support and accusations; some pointed to him as a misogynist while others attacked his liver cancer recovery (unfortunately or fortunately the post on twitter was immediately deleted – but it was about #bringbackourliver) but I got one from Facebook.
Some replies to Kagire’s tweet could really show some people were venting anger yet someone was just exercising their freedom of expression. One thing I have come to learn is that it’s easier to be tolerant and appreciative of opinions different from yours only and only if you’re able to see them objectively. Some one that thinks different from you doesn’t necessarily label him ignorant or dense. We are all the products of our own individual upbringing and experiences so it is completely natural that we will all have differences in opinions on a wide range of issues. Imagine how the world would be so dull if we were all the same and believed the same – It’s the diversity amongst people that makes it such a fascinating place. So we ought to learn to respect diversity and some people not pretending to know the yardstick for what is true or what needs to be said.
President Paul Kagame in his 2016 New Year address said “It is everyone’s right to ask for explanations when you are not satisfied. So rather than shutting Kagire down or any other person trying to seek more light on a pertinent issue, just give clarifications if you have any or throw in your measured, studied and thoughtful argument. I know that it can be difficult to tolerate other people’s opinions, especially about sensitive subjects you have strong feelings about; you just have to learn to approach them in a calm fashion.