I’ve got the rare occurrence of a pre defined structured topic for today’s blog post. It’s blog action day and the theme is “Human Rights”. Since 2007, this annual event has encouraged bloggers to talk about one topic, with the goal (as far as I can tell) of using our collective voice to try and make a different.
Previous themes have included Poverty, The Environment and Climate Change. I last participated back in 2010 when the theme was “Water” (here’s a handy link to my musings. I was particularly vocal about the ‘bottled water is rubbish’ campaign)
So this years theme – Human Rights. Apart from those two words, they’ve pretty much left it at that. I guess I’m suppose to blog about what that means to me. To me, being a westerner, a fella who’s doing fairly well – comfortable – not wanting for anything, having enough to feed my family, having shelter every night, having access to knowledge and education for my kids, having enough clean water to drink when ever I want it, having access to arguably the world’s best medical care for ‘free’ and living in a world where I can step outside without fear of being blown up or shot at. Etc. etc. etc… it’s pretty hard for me to comment.
I’ve got (as far as I can tell) access to all human rights, and I confess, I take them all for granted at times. The idea of human rights to me is an abstract concept, because I’ve got it all. If I stop for a minute and imagine life without any of the above, there’s a varying degree of bad feeling – from something akin to nausea, to total fear and dread. Imagine being thirsty and not being able to drink. Imagine not knowing where your next meal is coming from. Imagine a world where a walk in the sun could be risking a bullet. Imagine a world where medicine – such as antibiotic – is’t available. Imagine sending ones kids off to a sweatshop for 14 hours a day instead of their current school, homework, three good meals plus snacks (and a bit of minecraft) style routine. Imagine not knowing where your next meal is coming from.
All of these scenarios are real. Real for millions.
Why can’t we level the playing field a little? I’m sure there’s bloggers out there, contributing to #BAD13 who’ve gone into depth on this economically – illustrating workable models, critical of the 99%, the GNP distribution, the food mountains (and I look forward to reading them, once I’ve finished this post) but I’m not going to do that. I’m just going to say, that it feels like we should as a species we should be looking for ways to give everyone the same sort of rights as me – a comfortable life for oneself and ones family. There is no easy fix there and I know some people have a strong desire to fix it and it’s all well a blogger like me saying – we should fix it – knowing full well that I don’t have the answers. Perhaps that’s the point of this, to provoke and stimulate the germ of that conversation. To get people thinking about how it could be. We should all do as much as we can.
There, I’ve done my bit (for now). Over to you.