Image by Juan Diego Salinas 

Never in the history of humanity have we been exposed to such an infinite variety of opinions, beliefs, forms of behavior, customs and so on. Humanity has become a melting pot of world dimensions!

Be it in the areas of religious beliefs, forms of politeness, dress, physical appearance, attitudes towards work and play, financial behavior and integrity, business practices, eating  (ways of eating and what we eat,) … I have barely started the list of differences facing most of us, sometimes daily!

In such a situation, there are basically two forms of response: refusal and rejection or accepting and embracing.

In a professional career encompassing almost 60 years and traveling or living, studying or working in 40 countries of the five continents, I have witnessed so many forms of behavior, from the village chief who welcomed me starting with excuses that he only had 32 wives (who crawled on the ground with their heads bowed till they reached his feet which they would kiss before he allowed them to lift their heads) – whereas his father had 94, to one of the first African feminists with whom I worked many years, an utterly amazing powerhouse of a woman; from the village of Semari in Mali (Dogon country) whose women walked DAILY 40 kms to fetch water (by temperatures in the sun reaching 50 centigrade) to ultra clean Sweden (not to mention my home country, Switzerland, often maniacal for its cleanliness) where the cleanest water runs from all taps.

An Apprenticeship in Tolerance

My life has been an amazing apprenticeship in tolerance, a quality which will by necessity become one of the main qualities expressed by the citizens of this planet if we wish to survive. From an ultra-strict Calvinist protestant upbringing which caused me to look askew at my catholic neighbors to my 12 years in polygamous Muslim countries, where the deeply convinced feminist world citizen I was truly learned the meaning of tolerance…- a road we are all going to have to travel to survive as a race.

For me, the indispensable tool of this tolerance has been finding a strong spiritual grounding where “Loving one’s neighbor” is not simply a nice quotation from the Sunday church liturgy (I personally am not the member of any particular spiritual teaching), but the evident basis of all human relations in this incredibly diverse world (see my earlier blog on «Loving Putin»).

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A Blessing for Tolerance in a World of Constant Contrasts

We bless nations and individuals in their understanding that this variety is a new form of wealth and especially a new pedagogical tool for each one of us.

I bless myself in my total and sincere acceptance of all these differences – in physical appearance, in dress, in eating habits and attitudes in public, in forms of behavior and speaking… these endless differences that form our polychrome humanity.

I bless myself in learning to love my African/Latin American neighbors and the loud music they so enjoy late into the night rather than calling the police or knocking angrily on their door.

I bless myself in learning to really stretch beyond the rather narrow limits of my upbringing and embracing all rather than judging them, however strange some customs may seem to me.

And may I learn to grow spiritually everyday a little more in tolerance and acceptance until I am able to say of all men and women “This is my beloved child (brother, sister) in whom I am well pleased.”* (King James Bible)

A Blessing to Heal Racism

A dear friend of mine in St. Louis (USA) who has become a real brother invited me to attend a court proceeding which involved an African-American member of the church my friend attended. This member had been insulted and threatened by a white neighbor. I have never ever in my life encountered such distilled and hate-filled abuse as this neighbor’s tirade in the courtroom.

I composed this blessing while attending this session of the court.

We bless all those suffering from feelings of racism that their repressed fear of differences may be completely healed.

We bless them that the feelings of rejection, intolerance or hatred that haunt them may be replaced by wonder for the boundless physical and cultural variety of the human race and a deep appreciation of our human differences.

May they be freed from the mental jail in which they have unconsciously cloistered themselves, thus closing their hearts and minds to the divine beauty of every single human.

We bless equally those who suffer from the impact of racism, be they in the social, economic or cultural fields, human relationships, employment and so many other areas, that they may muster the courage and wisdom to defend themselves nonviolently, with love, quiet strength and – why not – humor.

And we bless the whole human race in its march towards the growing understanding that we are one single family and that we have the incredible privilege of loving our neighbor as ourselves because our neighbor IS ourself.

©2023 by Pierre Pradervand. All Rights Reserved.
Reprinted with permission from the author's blog.

Book by this Author

365 Blessings to Heal Myself and the World: Really Living One’s Spirituality in Everyday Life
by Pierre Pradervand.

book cover: 365 Blessings to Heal Myself and the World: Really Living One’s Spirituality in Everyday Life by Pierre Pradervand.Can you imagine what it would feel like to never feel any resentment for any wrong done to you, gossip or lie disseminated about you? To respond with full awareness to all situations and people rather than react from your gut? What freedom that would entail! Well, this is just one of the gifts the practice of blessing from the heart, i.e. sending out focused love energy, will do for you. This book, from the bestselling author of The Gentle Art of Blessing, will help you learn to bless all situations and people as you go through the day and add overwhelming joy and presence to your existence.

For more info and/or to order this book, click here. Also available as a Kindle edition.

More books by this Author

About The Author

Photo of: Pierre Pradervand, the author of  the book, The Gentle Art of Blessing.Pierre Pradervand is the author of The Gentle Art of Blessing. He has worked, travelled and lived in over 40 countries on five continents, and has been leading workshops and teaching the art of blessing for many years, with remarkable responses and transformational results.

For over 20 years Pierre has been practising blessing and collecting testimonies of blessing as a tool for healing the heart, mind, body and soul.

Visit his website at