Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The root of human rights

What is the basic human right?

Most of us would say freedom. 

Freedom is, of course, important, and it would be intolerable to live without it completely. 

But freedom is a double-edged sword...does it include the freedom to destroy the lives of others? Does it include the freedom to kill, rape, steal, bully?

If someone is attacking you, how much freedom do you really have? 

I say that human rights are rooted in another place...and it is spelled R-E-S-P-E-C-T.

When we start off with respecting each other, we see the human being in front of us. Not the symbol, not the punching bag, not the blame magnet.

When we see the human being, we cannot help but realize that he or she is just like us more than we ever imagined.

Respect is for everyone. For the newborn baby. The difficult child. The cranky co-worker. The political opponent. Even the prison inmate. 

You don’t have to love everyone (no matter what the Bible says). That can’t be done in any event. When you respect people – even if you know you must limit your contact with them for your own sake – you strengthen your connection to humaneness.  

If we all respected each other, what kind of world do you think this would be?

Take time to think about it.

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