Yesterday was World Human Rights Day. Same with today. Every day is human rights day. I would like to see us expand the concept to include the rights of all living things. Then celebrate that every day.
That might be a bit much to expect at this point in our painfully slow evolution. We can't even get human rights done properly.
The advocacy group Human Rights Watch "monitors policy developments and strives to persuade governments and international institutions to curb abuses and promote human rights". Their "World Report 2015" gives human rights information for 90 countries.
This is what the report had to say about Canada's recent human rights record:
"...in 2014, the sitting majority in parliament refused to take essential steps to remedy serious human rights concerns..."
How does your country rate in the area of human rights? Check out the report here. More than likely, like Canada's dismal record, you won't like what you see.
So how do we stretch our brains around recognizing the rights of more than just humans, of all living things? International Animal Rights Day, which also happened to be yesterday, reminds human beings that every creature on the planet deserves to be treated with equal kindness and respect.
This also applies to Mother Earth, as she has rights, too. We are about as bad at recognizing those as we are with human rights, with similar catastrophic results. How do we turn this around? We have to take responsibility for our actions before we can improve our performance on recognizing and celebrating rights.
With our human rights come responsibilities, the oft forgotten other part of the equation. These are equally important. The number one responsibility is to recognize and honour the rights of all living things. Do no harm. Live and let live.
If we would do this to the best of our ability with each decision we make, everything else would take care of itself. Imagine what that world would look like.