Copyright (c) 2011. Human Rights, Our Greatest Needs. By Julia Hanweck. All Rights Reserved.
Our Greatest Needs
Our greatest needs, beyond all others, are our human rights including freedom, love, dignity, and peace. Love never harms. On the contrary, love respects the uniqueness and dignity of others and ourselves. Love never controls or dominates; rather, it sets others and ourselves free.
Currently, and throughout history, courageous people are enduring and have endured unfathomable suffering in their struggle for human rights. They have risked their lives, been tortured, imprisoned, denied medical care and murdered. They have been without medical supplies, food, water and other basic needs all for the sake of freedom, dignity and human rights.
As I write this, human rights violations are occuring around the globe and in every country. Youths and adults are being preyed upon, exploited and trafficked in the pornography and prostitution industries. On the grounds of some factories, children and adults are locked behind barbed-wire fences and forced to work in squalid and dangerous conditions. While some of these business owners hoard huge amounts of wealth, many of these workers are never paid enough to climb out of poverty and may even die due to poor ventilation, over-exertion and lack of health care. Many activists demonstrating peacefully for democracy are being arrested, jailed, tortured and killed. The list goes on…
While laws pertaining to human rights have been enacted, are stricter and enforced to a higher degree in some parts of the world than in others, no nation is immune to human rights violations.
The Connection Between Human Rights and Love
Human rights and love are intertwined. Love goes hand-in-hand with respecting the rights of others. Often, during wedding ceremonies, the Bible passage about love from Corinthians (below: 1 Corinthians 13:4-7) is read aloud. It sounds so beautiful at the ceremony when emotions are highly charged and tears fill the eyes of the bride and groom, their families and guests. Sadly, when the wedding celebration has ended, and people return to daily life stresses–traffic, bills, careers, studies, school and work deadlines, sports teams, yard work, cleaning, etc.–these precious words are at risk, for some, to be left behind in the air at the ceremony’s site to be forgotten.
This returns us full circle to our greatest needs. Our greatest needs, beyond all others, are our human rights including love, freedom, dignity and peace. Love is the strongest ingrediant for human rights. Humans are complicated; however, love is not.
The Definition of Love (1 Corinthians 13:4-7)
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-7