Make Progress Toward Tolerance

Our CEO Natalie Beck shares her insights after visiting the Mobile Museum of Tolerance.

Authored by CFMC President, Natalie Beck.

The T's of philanthropy are well known – time, talent, treasure and testimony.

However, I believe for philanthropy to have life-changing impact, another T must come into the picture – tolerance.

Tolerance makes it possible for people to coexist peacefully.

Tolerance is an act of unconditional kindness, burying anger and hatred.

Tolerance is a prime virtue for human dignity.

Tolerance allows us to live and let live.

So why is tolerance so difficult to achieve?

Tolerance requires us to step outside our comfort zones. Accepting and respecting others when they hold views that are vastly different from our own can go a long way toward bringing us together.

If we can focus on traits we share, including how we are alike, we will begin to see each other in a completely new light.

I ask each of us to become a spokesperson for tolerance. Together, we can build connections by sharing compassion for one another. Tolerance supports economic development, diversity, humanity, and mental and emotional well-being.

In partnership with Decatur Memorial Hospital, The Community Foundation of Macon County is sponsoring a week-long appearance in Decatur by the Mobile Museum of Tolerance (MMOT) to help build tolerance in our area. The first of its kind in the United States, the MMOT is a traveling mobile education center, utilizing innovative technology and interactive lessons to bring a message of tolerance directly to our community. Admittance to the MMOT is free and the vehicle is parked on the north side of Decatur Memorial Hospital across from the Decatur Family YMCA. (Dates and times are posted at the bottom of this blog. Open drop-in times for the public are available on a first come, first served basis).

It's easy to spot the MMOT bus. Its exterior is covered with the faces of historical figures who have made a difference in building tolerance: Malala Yousafzai, Gandhi, Harriet Tubman, Simon Wiesenthal, Cesar Chavez and Rosa Parks. On the interior of the MMOT bus, you'll find three state-of-the-art video screens with seating for attendees.

Each of the MMOT videos are 7-10 minutes in length. You’ll learn about the Civil Rights movement, the Holocaust and how to avoid spreading hate on social media. You’ll learn that for unity to develop, we must show tolerance. You’ll learn that we all have differences related to race, religion, sexuality, gender and status.

At the MMOT, you’ll learn about events of deep intolerance, including the night of November 9-10, 1938, known as Kristallnacht or the Night of Broken Glass. where the Nazi regime coordinated a wave of antisemitic violence in Germany – setting fire to 191 synagogues, killing 1,500 Jewish people and sending 30,000 male Jews to concentration camps. On this night, the streets were covered with shards of shattered glass as the windows of synagogues, homes and Jewish-owned businesses were destroyed.

You’ll also learn about Civil Rights leaders such as Martin Luther King Jr. and John Lewis.

And you’ll learn about how various groups of people have courageously stood together to stamp out oppression and to promote justice for all.

Developing tolerance takes effort; it is a daily dialogue with ourselves and others. Before we hear glass breaking and witness crimes against our fellow mankind, we must make the effort to see the good in others, looking for qualities we can respect and appreciate.

And while positive change may not come from simply watching videos, the lessons learned at the Mobile Museum of Tolerance are meant to begin the discussion and hopefully help lead us toward greater tolerance of each other. Let it be so.

Mobile Museum of Tolerance Hours at Decatur Memorial Hospital Parking Lot

June 21 Noon - 6 p.m.

June 22 Noon - 6 p.m.

June 23 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.