Apparently today is Bloggers Unite for Human Rights Day. I learned this at Blogtations. Who knew such a thing existed? Well, my little bloggity friends, I'm here to do my part.
But first I have a question. What are human rights? What does that even mean? The image that comes to mind in this, the modern age, when the phrase "Human Rights" is invoked, is of a subtle, caustic cocktail of guilt for our plenty, blended with a dash of pity for those who lack said plenty(whether they feel that lack or not).
To me, your rights as a human being are spelled out clearly in our divinely inspired Contitution (and yes, I believe that God had a hand, possibly an entire arm, in that). You have the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
1.You have the right to be alive, and to fight to stay alive if there is a threat.
2.You have the right to make choices unfettered by the whimsical dictates of a lord, leige or power-mad crown, and..
3.You have the right to use your brain to apply your value system in the determining of that which will make you happy, and then make choices commensurate with the achieving of that goal.
HOWEVER..... that said, you DO NOT have the right to pursue it at the expense of others' rights. You DO NOT have the right to break the law in your pursuit. You DO NOT have the right to escape the consequences of your choices in said pursuit.
What about having a Bloggers Unite for Human Responsibility Day?
It seems that every time I turn around there is someone trying to feed me that caustic cocktail, and you know what? I just don't swallow it. In response to a couple of the quotations found at Blogtations (and other sites) today:
1. It does not even occur to me to feel guilty for having enough food to eat, or having enough food to feed my children. What I feel is grateful.
2. I do not feel sorry for the detainees in Guantanamo. They are held in relative safety and comfort, fed well, sheltered and allowed to practice the tenets of their faith. With the notable exception of blowing other people to bloody bits. I'll save my compassion for their victims.
3.I do not believe that universal health care is a right. I don't even think it's a good idea.
4.I do not believe it is the Federal governement's job to care for the individual. They are supposed to be looking at the bigger picture; the country as a whole. Communites are supposed to care about individuals.
Now this is not to say that I don't feel compassion for the people who are being hunted down like animals and slaughtered just because of their tribal names. I feel sorrow approaching pain for the countless children who are orphaned because of AIDS, genocide and other atrocious and highly preventable things. It breaks my heart to see child starving to death, or murdered by its own parents because it was the wrong gender. It lights a fire in my belly to see women treated as less important than cattle. But they are there and I am here. I donate to charitable organizations. I teach my children to be of service to those around them and offer not judgement, but love. And I pray.
To me, the whole human rights fight boils down to one question: What is the character of mankind, as a whole? There will always be those for whom power, control, domination and cruelty are the greatest ambition. Evil has ever existed, and will ever. And then there will be the rest of us, who stand in our little corners of the world and do daily battle against whatever evil we come across. And as long as each of us does that, the goodness of mankind will triumph.