Today is the International Day of Tolerance and we pay special attention to these topics.
Tolerance and relationships between people are the main pillars of society, which form the basis of diversity and interdependence. In a world where individuals are unique in their own way, tolerance plays a key role in creating harmonious coexistence.
Tolerance is not just patience, but rather understanding and respecting differences. It emphasizes the need to accept individual uniqueness and recognize each person’s right to be different. In this context, tolerance contributes to the creation of a society in which people feel free to be as different as they are.
Our meeting with Kalin Ivanov – a disabled person living in a suburb of Dobrich, showed a point of view unknown to the majority of society. Kalin suffered a serious accident in 2010 and has been immobilized for 13 years. The only way to get around is with a wheelchair, and he relies on his wife Pavlina and other relatives for support.
For Kalin, tolerance means understanding. He wants society to realize that the problems of others can happen to anyone and that is why it is important to help each other. The root of this understanding is a change in the approach to the formation of each individual personality starting from the family environment, kindergarten, school. This, according to him, is achieved not only by speaking, but also by setting a personal example.
Kalin gives a positive assessment of his citizens and says that the people of Dobrudja are cheerful and good people, but sometimes, everyone in their daily life can show negligence towards others, be it driven by a search for venting or self-assertion.
For Kalin, tolerance is not just a topic of the value system of fellow citizens, but also an attitude on the part of institutions. As an active citizen, he regularly reports and seeks solutions to problems. His voice is heard, he leads a successful communication, but there is still the problem that the accessible environment is not a priority in planning, but rather a problem to be solved afterwards.
He notes that there is no well-planned tactile pavement for the blind anywhere in the city and gave an example that he is not indifferent to other people’s problems. Regarding the provision of an accessible environment for the disabled, he pointed out that in many places concern is feigned, but standards are not actually met and the environment remains inaccessible.
Still, a large part of the institutions in the city are inaccessible, such as the Historical Museum in the park, the building of the National Academy of Sciences, the office of the NRA, the Drama Theater, as well as a large part of the sidewalks in the city.
He says that “a warrior is a warrior himself” and solves every little problem himself, with communication with those who have to do the work.
Kalin Ivanov addresses society with the following words: “Accept the different as something normal from everyday life, not as beings from another planet. We are among you and due to circumstances we have different needs, but we are also people”.
Kalin explained that before the accident happened to him, he accepted tolerance in one way, but the view from the other side is more frightening.
Kalin’s wife Pavlina Ivanova said that tolerance should also be shown towards the relatives of the different people and said that when the accident happened with her husband, her children were at school and suffered ridicule, and this led to injuries. Kalin’s son has not seen his father on his feet.