We All Have Rights, unless . . .

rightsPeople just love to shout about their personal “rights”. Groups love to petition about “our  rights”. Organizations love to write official papers about “human rights”.

So, why do so many people not have their rights respected?

And, which rights are Right ?

Not to mention, who decides what rights belong to which people?

Take a moment to consider these recent news clips:

From OneWorld.Net: Anger in Kosovo as UN ‘Muzzles’ Democracy Leader

From Times Online, UK: Call for access to education for all members of the Iranian Baha’i community

From GlobalVoices: “08 Charter” (blueprint for the democracy prospect in China) Signers Arrested and Questioned by Police

From Bahá’í World News Service: Faith groups sign human rights statement

Some people effectively have no  rights…

Some people spend almost all their time screaming about having their rights trampled on…

Some folks stay calm, put up with those who trample on their rights, and continue to work, quietly but effectively, to ensure the rights of all the members of our human family…

I have no “point” to make in this post; just want to stir things up.

So, I’ll urge you to let yourself be stirred up by 12-year-old Severn Suzuki speaking at the UN Earth Summit in 1992:

Spiritual Quote :

“Ultimately…the emergence of a peaceful and just social order animated by moral principle is contingent upon a fundamental redefinition of all human relationships—among individuals themselves, between human society and the natural world, between the individual and the community, and between individual citizens and their governing institutions. In particular, outmoded notions of power and authority need to be recast. A basic reconceptualization of social reality is thus envisioned, a reality that in spirit and practice reflects the principle of the oneness of humankind. To accept that ‘the body of humankind is one and indivisible’ is to recognize that every human being is ‘born into the world as a trust of the whole’.”
Bahá’í International Community, 2001 May 28-31, Overcoming Corruption in Public Institutions

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2 thoughts on “We All Have Rights, unless . . .

  1. Your spiritual quote was a good one, pertaining to a new definition of the perception of rights.

    Many claims of rights do not come with responsibilities to the context our lives exist in, as if interrelationships can be ignored for some privilege to do something. It is seductive to the surface oriented self, to go and do what one wishes without concern for other environments impacted by my actions, just so I can fulfill some fantasy I was sold of enjoyment.

    Living that way moves me further away from consciousness of my connectedness to all life. Some “rights” or privileges serve to diminish my perception of life; of my own life and the Whole of It.

    Ideas like The Golden Rule and the Categorical Imperative
    do not fit well with individualist based paradigms of mass consumption. As long as we approach the world (and Being) as if it were all one great big shopping mall, where enough money serves as the respect (status stand in) I need to have what I want, those rights might just be written on a subconscious suicide note.

    We are seeing materialism and cultural competition push the nations on earth into an increasingly overloaded and leaky ship of fate. It is up to each one; our intrinsic right to comprehend how I fit into the world of Life, to notice how it all makes up this one thing called existence.

    Nothing of It is separate in any overview. The “blue dot” seen from space from a receding spacecraft, is our spacecraft, our lifecraft. A similar extended concept is likely for existence itself. I need find how my own life fits into these homes of my being, instead of being sent down a dead end street of fantasy over what I want to maintain happiness.

    The right to truly be happy does not come with a price tag. But it does come with the extension of my own love into the world of Life around me.

  2. benafia,

    Your whole comment was edifying and perceptive yet, your statement about responsibilities being mated to rights is a critical understanding that, it appears, will only be learned through much suffering…

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