Are we willing to do what it takes?


I’ve spent a lot of time trying to select a topic to blog about for this year’s Human Rights Day, because sadly, there is no shortage of issues to cover on this topic.  But one thing that keeps coming back to me, are we willing to do all that it requires to truly achieve human rights both domestically and around the world?

For those of us committed to achieving social justice and eradicating poverty, are we willing to give up some, or all, of our privileged lifestyles so that others in our communities around the world can experience a life free from poverty, with education and health care?

When looking at this from a local angle, there are examples after examples of where community members have come together to support each one another’s human right to a happy and healthy life.  We see it when people vote to increase taxes to fund public services, give charitable donations, or share resources with their neighbors.  But when it means that we may have to lower the standards for our own quality of life, so that others may improve theirs, is that a choice we’re willing to make? 

It’s clear to me, that many of us are ready and willing to vote, advocate and organize to achieve human rights for one another? However, I’m not so sure that people are willing to give up some of their own luxuries and niceties to achieve this.  Sadly, our countries desire to retain power and control over the rest of the world overrides its desire to bring about a peaceful and thriving global community.  And this is because in order to remain as a leading global power, other countries must continue to live in poverty and pollution for the United States to exploit. 

As a community committed to achieving social justice, are we truly willing to take less, so that others can have more?  If so, then how do we build a domestic movement that makes this vision possible around the world?  If we aren’t, then what are we truly doing in a daily organizing efforts, if we aren’t willing to make the same sacrifices for those around the world, as we would those our neighbors? 

These are just my thoughts and reflections on Human Rights Day.  What are yours?