"Where, after all, do universal human rights begin? In small places, close to home - so close and so small that they cannot be seen on any maps of the world. Yet they are the world of the individual person; the neighborhood he lives in; the school or college he attends; the factory, farm, or office where he works. Such are the places where every man, woman, and child seeks equal justice, equal opportunity, equal dignity without discrimination. Unless these rights have meaning there, they have little meaning anywhere. Without concerted citizen action to uphold them close to home, we shall look in vain for progress in the larger world." Eleanor Roosevelt
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) is a declaration adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 10 December 1948 at the Palais de Chaillot in Paris. The Declaration has been translated into at least 375 languages and dialects. The Declaration arose directly from the experience of the Second World War and represents the first global expression of rights to which all human beings are entitled. Canadian John Peters Humphrey was called upon by the United Nations Secretary-General to work on the project and became the Declaration's principal drafter. Other primary contributors to the drafting included Eleanor Roosevelt, Ren Cassin (France), P.C. Chang (China) and Charles Malik (Lebanon).
Article 1 - All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act toward one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
I could very easily move in a cynical and sarcastic direction regarding the world we are since that Declaration was voted on in 1948, but I won't as I no longer look at the globe in anger, but rather I look at my feet, hands, lips and ears and reflect on what I am doing today to ignite love, passion, compassion, friendship, tolerance, patience, equality, honesty, open mindedness, acceptance, laughter and hope between me and all others.
Throughout my life preceding my active addictions, through my active addiction and well into my recovery, I espoused equality and was perceived to be a great humanitarian, while the truth is that i was a critical, judgmental, racist, bigoted and hate filled person who mocked people of different races, religions, physical challenges and the like.
Even when I surrendered and came into recovery, it took me years before i was able to confront me honestly and commence changing my attitudes. It started with how I saw myself and until I was honest about my hatred of me I could not in any way change my hatred of you.
I chose to allow my faith to grow, my forgiveness to heal and my emotional healing to give hope to me about my spiritual condition. I stopped looking at the world and started looking at the moment and the choice I had at the moment I had it as to how I was going to think and act toward myself and you.
I can rail on with you about global politics, apartheid, racism, bigotry, hunger, starvation, poverty, genocide and the like, but doing that will not change the world order. What will change the world order is what each of us chooses to do to make the Universal Declaration of Human Rights come alive in our daily lives. At the end of the day I can only take my inventory and look at my behavior. I am proud of what I find at the end of the day today.
My work as a Rabbi and Spiritual Counselor no longer portends that I am what you think I am because of my robes and titles, but rather because of how I treat myself and treat you when the microphone is off and no one is listening. At that moment I know the truth and I know that my Higher Power is smiling over the sincerity of my heart and kindness of my actions.
My prayer for you today is that you will further your efforts to see each human being as your brother and sister and love them as you are loved.
I am a modern and independent South Florida Sober Rabbi with an MSW Degree and 23+ years of sobriety providing Sober Coaching and Addiction/Spiritual Counseling focusing on energizing, affirming, motivating, healing, spiritual guidance and personalized life cycle events.
If you, a family member or friend are suffering, call me at 954-755-3764 to get the help you deserve.
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Hugs and blessings for a joyous day!