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Richard De Souza, Grade 10

Abu Dhabi Indian School

2019, the New Year is here and over the last days of 2018, I had been contemplating about what personal goal I should set for the coming year.

A milestone that would be very dear to my heart.

My gaze fell on a recent article in Gulf News which stated that the President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan had declared that 2019 would be celebrated as the Year of Tolerance.

NAT Richard De Souza

And I knew that I had found my goal for the New Year.

To practise, emphasise and spread the idea of tolerance every day would be my new goal which would drive me throughout 2019.

The world we live in today, a world which is torn apart by strife, bias, lack of respect for others, discrimination... all based on religion, caste, doctrine, race, colour and ethnicity, tolerance is the need of the hour. It is of utmost importance that we practise tolerance at every moment, every day and everywhere.

And where would you find a better place to practise tolerance than in the UAE. The UAE is a microcosm of humanity, a melting pot of people living together under the safe and able leadership of the Rulers.

To practise and spread the message, the meaning of tolerance among the populace would resonate very closely with the values imparted to us and the vision held by the Rulers.

As a student, I would be working very hard, throughout the year, to spread this message among my peers, my school mates and thereafter to other schools.

Organising rallies, poster competitions, short skits on tolerance, drawing and elocution competition aimed at spreading awareness of this virtue are some of the activities I have planned for throughout the year.

Of course, I am sure I would get the support from my teachers, school authorities and well-wishers to help me implement and spread the message of tolerance to all corners of the UAE.