This post is part of World Blog Action Day 2013. This year’s topic is on Human Rights.
When I hear human rights, I think of everyone given an opportunity to do something. Most assume human rights = equality. The problem is people are not created equally and they have to discover why they are here in the world. Some do have the opportunity, but most do not. Why? Control.
There’s a Texas senator who came to Congress to follow his own guidelines instead what is the best interest of Texas and his nation. That has led to the government shutdown that have furlough over 800,000 employees and no end in sight.
There’s the gender gap in CEO pay. People assume why women are paid less than men is because they’re bad negotiators. Although that might be true, the main reason is women are thought of as “team players” and collaborative, which doesn’t have a good payday, but being “brilliant” and had one clever idea that goes nowhere gets you a serious raise? Is it really that fair? In addition, only 8% of CEOs in the S&P 500 are women.
There’s a shortage of women in STEM jobs and programs. You would think the answer is women are becoming mothers. Nope. The reason is only a few women, in STEM jobs, of their ilk. A very low ceiling.
There’s a high school student, who is picking up her drunk friend from a party and being a designated driver. Instead of accolades, the girl was suspended from school and was stripped of her captaincy from the volleyball team because there was a zero tolerance policy that any student should be near alcohol.
There’s the story about the Redskins name. There are arguments, for and against, keeping the name; yet no one mentions that Native Americans have the worst poverty, uneducated, unemployment in the nation as a group.
Then, there’s the story of the NFL’s denial of concussions, if you saw the documentary, League of Denial. What’s worse: the NFL wants to expand to 18 games and have more Thursday Night games to make a profit instead of player safety, which they say it is important. Bullcrap.
The problem with control is we want to be right, but we want to be right for ourselves, not what is right as a whole.
This leads me to what Pope Francis said about people trying to control any situation:
If the Christian is a restorationist, a legalist, if he wants everything clear and safe, then he will find nothing. Tradition and memory of the past must help us to have the courage to open up new areas to God. Those who today always look for disciplinarian solutions, those who long for an exaggerated doctrinal ‘security,’ those who stubbornly try to recover a past that no longer exists—they have a static and inward-directed view of things. In this way, faith becomes an ideology among other ideologies.
If we let go of control, we open the door a little wider and broaden our minds to different perspectives.
Although collaboration and compromise somehow reduce wages, it is important to know that wages are not the most important thing to most people today. It is doing the right thing and making the difference like providing clean water, teaching, or even having a conversation. Don’t get me wrong, you have to worry about yourself to have a roof over your head and have the necessary perishables to survive, but think about the others if you think you’ve secured your well-being.
Human rights are about giving a chance for people to shine and what we can offer to the world. Human rights are also about improvements. We keep learning, experimenting, and questioning things about ourselves, our landscape, and our surroundings to improve society so that the next generation can live on. Let me conclude on what the exact definition of human rights should be from Pope Francis:
We must not focus on occupying the spaces where power is exercised, but rather on starting long-run historical processes. We must initiate processes rather than occupy spaces… Our life is not given to us like an opera libretto, in which all is written down; but it means going, walking, doing, searching, seeing…. We must enter into the adventure of the quest for meeting God; we must let God search and encounter us.