Sixty four years ago, December 10 was declared Human Rights Day by the United Nations General Assembly. It aimed “to bring to the attention ‘of the peoples of the world’ the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as the common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations.”
This year’s slogan is “Human Rights 365” making the awareness of human rights a daily matter.
More often than not, when people talk of human rights, we see vocal expressions in defence of it in tri-media, in social media and even in what is known as parliament of the streets. Those expressions are helpful in bringing to light abuses and violations of human rights.
Not everyone is capable of even driven to mount such huge endeavors. Most people live simple and quiet lives, all wanting peace and contentment. But these are the people who uphold human rights in their own simple and quiet ways starting with themselves, their own families and the communities where they live.
As the song goes “it is better to light just one little candle than to stumble in the dark.” If each of us will do our share to uphold a precious life which is a basic human right, then “what a bright world this would be.”
But that is a perfect world and in it there are no wars so there will be no selling of arms or making of nuclear weapons. There will be no terrorist groups nor even armed forces of nations. There will be no crimes, no drug or human trafficking so prisons would be empty or unheard of. There will be no famines because rich people and countries would be willing to share. There would be no viruses, no dreadful and uncontrollable diseases because drug companies won’t be greedy to manufacture lies to sell their vaccines and medicines. Ah, I could go on and on but that would be describing heaven already.
Meanwhile, the reality is, we are still on earth, imperfectly alive but can do so much to ease another human being’s suffering by being aware, concerned and helpful. For making human rights a daily concern and for valuing life everyday, count me in!
I’d like to share this simple poem I’ve written ages ago. It talks of simply being alive and valuing life.
Count me in!
One life, one heart, one soul
One life to be grateful for
One true love to last a lifetime
One faith to hold on to, forevermore.
What a joy to have:
Two eyes to see the beauty of a sunrise
Two ears to hear music in a child’s laughter
Two arms to hug a loved one tight
Two feet to a play serious or frivolous sport.
But it also means, having:
Two eyes to see suffering and misery and not look away
Two ears to hear the pain and anguish of others day by day
Two arms to reach out and touch a life
Two feet to hurry and save someone in strife.
Three days to live as blind, deaf and mute
Three things to miss in those three days:
Seeing the smiles on the faces of loved ones so dear
Hearing the merry banter and laughter in the table for dinner
Saying something good over and over from dawn till the sun seeks cover.
Four Seasons of Life: Autumn, Winter, Spring and Summer
The chill of autumn is like the withering of a dying friendship
The coldness of a bleak winter numbs sorrow, pain and hardship
But lo and behold, the promise of a beautiful spring
Hope eternal it always brings
Like the sight of a newborn child
Or the smell of freshly baked chocolate cake with brewed coffee on the side
Or the touch and smell of leather
In a brand new car’s seat cover.
With the brightness of summer
Comes an energy for one
To work better, to play better, to live life better.
Like five fingers in one hand
Five basketball players in a band
Cannot hold on to a ball or to victory
If one veers away to the contrary.
But if one for all, all for one they go
Winning might just be a boost to their ego
Better than that though
Is the feeling that each has done his part
To carry the team to greater glory right from the start.
The tongue has five kinds of taste
Each describes a part of life I will tell you if you’re not in haste:
The sweetness of young love, the bitterness of parting
The sourness of a broken relationship, the saltiness of renewed bonding
The blandness of indifference make many of us wince
And now may I ask, does a sixth kind of taste make sense?
Alas, I say it does
It is the taste for life, with all its ups and downs
With all its joys and sorrows, with all its smiles and frowns.
Seven days a week we have
Seven ways to make ourselves whole, not halved
To think wisely, to speak kindly
To pray fervently, to love profoundly
To exercise religiously, to reach out sincerely
To walk uprightly and thus live each week brightly.
Eight hours of sleep
Eight glasses of water
Health tips we should keep
Our body needs them or else it will be a disaster.
Lack of sleep gives us eye bags so large and dark
Try not drinking enough water, let’s see if we can race until the park
Water and sleep, sleep and water
Some things that truly matter
Every wink, every drop we sure need
For our body’s health, this reminder, please let us heed.
Nine months of living in a mother’s womb
Of bonding and nurturing
A human being should not forget until the tomb.
Nine months may stretch to nine or ninety years
Of living and loving
Of sharing one’s laughter and tears.
But nine months other babies may not have
Of mothers uncaring
Allowing their bodies to be drowned and halved.
Pity the young angels, should be the cry
Please let them live, don’t allow them to die.
Nine months, let them live, nine months and more.
On a scale of 1 to 10, where 10 is the highest
Let us rate our life and see if we have lived it to the fullest.
Have we used our senses in a good manner
And by them have shown others how to live life better?
Have we made someone happy today
And eased a burden or wiped a tear away?
Is our happiness rating an 8 or 9
And our holiness rating a 10, oh, it’s just fine?
When we tip the weighing scale, do we see our efforts are just 5?
Then we must eat right, move more and show more drive!
I hope our prayer life is not a 1 or 2
Because it is only in His hands that we can fully live, it’s true.is true.
Photo by Lakwatserang Paruparo. Some rights reserved.