Originally published at http://tolerance.ca/Education_05.asp?Langue=1

Tolerance.ca Awards Literary Prize

Tolerance.ca is pleased to publish Fading Boundaries, the poem written by Vanier College student Sarah Delisle, which has won our Second Literary contest.

We thank the members of the juries: Professors Dr. Neil Caplan, Mrs. Mireille Galanti, Mrs. Sue Harrison, Mr. Paul Hedlin, Mr. Osée Kamga and Mr. Victor Teboul.

 

(L to R:) Sue Harrison, winner Sarah Delisle, Victor Teboul, Neil Caplan.

Fading Boundaries
By Sarah Delisle

The metro is often crowded,
Sometimes we are forced to stand
We try to keep our balance,
But we all need support…
The metro was full
She was standing
The pole offered balance, she grabbed it
Five other hands wrapped around the pole
They stood huddled in a circle around the pole
The South American next to the European
The European next to the African
The African next to the North American
The North American next to the Asian
The Asian next to the girl
The girl next to the South American
The pole supported them all…
Six billion people rely on the Earth for life
The spaces that separate us are diminishing
Inevitably, cultures are clashing
We exist and co-exist in the same sphere
We rely on the same land for our existence
We breathe the same air
Still, many emphasize the minute differences:
Skin colour, language, customs, religion
We have basic rights
Such as to be fed, clothed and sheltered
But basic rights denote more than this:
It is our right to be free of discrimination due to:
Skin colour, language, customs, religion
Many advocate tolerance:
Cultural relativism, fraternity, equality
Many subscribe to this view like the newspaper:
"Of course I'm tolerant of other cultures!"
It is quite easy to say, "I'm tolerant"
It is much harder to mean it
Tolerance means understanding,
being able to respect what one is tolerant of
Tolerance is not indifference
It means grappling with foreign ideas,
Struggling to understand them
Essentially tolerance means work
It is easy to answer "Yes" to "Are you tolerant?"
It is much more difficult to answer "Why?"
Tolerance is not passive
Tolerance is not easy
It requires stepping outside of yourself,
stretching your mind and
by discovering more about others,
discovering more about yourself.


Sarah Delisle is studying Social Science at Vanier College, in Montreal, Canada, and hopes to major in English and Classics at university.


Contest made possible with the financial support of:
Concours organisé grâce à la contribution financière de:

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