Human Rights Day …

Today is Human Rights Day, marking the 74th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1948.  First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt played a key role as chairperson of the drafting committee of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and I initially considered using her speech before the United Nations as the basis for this post.  However, the speech is long … over 4,000 words … and I decided instead to listen to some of the voices from the past, including Eleanor Roosevelt, speaking of human rights.  This post is an updated reprisal of my 2019 post on this date.  The theme for Human Rights Day in 2022 is apt for the times, I think:  “Dignity, Freedom and Justice For All”.


“When I despair, I remember that all through history the ways of truth and love have always won. There have been tyrants, and murderers, and for a time they can seem invincible, but in the end they always fall. Think of it—always.” – Mahatma Ghandi


“Freedom makes a huge requirement of every human being. With freedom comes responsibility. For the person who is unwilling to grow up, the person who does not want to carry his own weight, this is a frightening prospect.” – Eleanor Roosevelt


“I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if need be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.” – Nelson Mandela


“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” – Martin Luther King


“I am not interested in picking up crumbs of compassion thrown from the table of someone who considers himself my master. I want the full menu of rights.” – Desmond Tutu


“Once social change begins, it cannot be reversed. You cannot uneducate the person who has learned to read. You cannot humiliate the person who feels pride. You cannot oppress the people who are not afraid anymore. We have seen the future, and the future is ours.” – Cesar Chavez

These are but a few of the thousands of people who have worked tirelessly to bring about equality and fairness for everyone, not just for a select few.  Let us hope that today and into the future, there are many more like them.

50 thoughts on “Human Rights Day …

  1. For my final project, I had to work with a group and present something relevant to Black American Studies, and we chose to talk about the assassinations of MLK, Malcolm X, and Fred Hampton. We put together all the connections between their deaths and COINTELPRO. I love that they called Martin Luther King, Jr. “The Black Gandhi”. Great post, Sis!

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  2. Jill, good piece. You have highlighted many heroes in our world history. We have a saying on our refrigerator from MLK. In essence, hate takes too much energy for the hater, so it is better for the hater not to hate as they are only harming themselves. Until they realize this, the hate will go on. Keith

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    • Some of the best quotes I know of come from MLK. And yes, it would be so much easier if people realized that we’re all on this planet together, that if we work together we can truly make it a better world, but if we keep hating and fighting, we will destroy the world.


  3. Thank you for sharing!!.. The leadership does have a purpose and that is to unite the people but in the end it is up to us, the people to make the difference… “Change will not come if we wait for some other person, or if we wait for some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.” (Barack Obama )… 🙂

    Until we meet again..
    May your troubles be less
    Your blessings be more
    And nothing but happiness
    Come through your door
    (Irish Saying)

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    • Today it seems that leadership operates under the “divide and conquer” philosophy, doesn’t it. I love that Obama quote!!! Or there is another that is attributed to Gandhi, though I understand that’s questionable: “Be the change you want to see in the world.” I try, but fail more often than not!


      • “Consult not your fears but your hopes and your dreams. Think not about your frustrations, but about your unfulfilled potential. Concern yourself not with what you tried and failed in, but with what it is still possible for you to do…” (Pope John XXIII )… 🙂

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  4. Pingback: Human Rights Day … | Ned Hamson's Second Line View of the News

    • Progress was made, then it was corrupted. But given time peace, love, freedom, and equality will come to the fore again, and again, until there is no one to corrupt it. Life is a spiritual journey. There are many roads to travel, but they will all lead to the same destination. Being.

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        • But you and I know humans are not the be-all and end-all of life. Life has trillions of years to start all over again, if necessary. At this moment on the evolutionary clock, humans appear ready to become another failure,, another dead end.

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          • Well, at this moment, given my complete disgust with the majority of humans, I hope that if the human species succeeds in extincting itself, as seems inevitable, it never returns in its current form. Seems to me that mankind was a failed experiment. Oh sure, we could have learned from the past, could have continued to evolve into something better, but instead we become more cruel, greedy and arrogant with each new generation. I give up!


            • No giving up yet, Jill, please. The night is always darkest before the dawn. We need preople like you to keep on fighting for us, fighting for life. This is when we need to be strongest. We can still rise above those who would bring us down…
              We must fight on.

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              • I’m not sure I believe that we can still change the world, convince people to change. I’m not sure I even believe that life is worth preserving anymore. Perhaps I’m just down in the rabbit hole again and will find my way out in a few days. Thanks for caring, though. You’re a good friend.


                • It doesn’t matter if we can still change. What matters is going down fighting. Human life may not be worth it, but we are dealing here with life itself. What would the universe, the cosmos, be without life. We don’t know for sure there is life anywhere else, life on Earth could be the only life there is. We cannot take that chance. Even if we csnnot save human life, we need to fight to keep it going.
                  I will not go out with a whimper!

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                  • Life on earth … all life, that is … would thrive without humans killing it off, destroying its natural habitats, etc. The planet would survive and eventually restore itself.


                    • That is the hope, providing all life is not poisoned by nuclear radiation. Who knows what might happen to the evolutionary process if life mutates on a huge stage in a very short period of time.
                      But I think humans are still capable of redeeming themselves.

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                    • I am actually a pessimist about most things, because the worse I fear something the better
                      I feel when it doesn’t happen.
                      But when it comes to life, all that changes. I look at evolution over the past 4.5 billion or eo years, and everything points to progress. The bad things die out, the good things survive. So far humans have survived, though we are nearing a point of no return. Today’s society will not advance, that is for sure. But if enough humans are able to change, then we shall continue onward to the next crisis point. My money is on survival, for now. But it will not be easy, especially with all the conservative types not being willing to change. Next time, or the time after that, we may mot be do lucky.


    • I tend to agree with rawgod that we humans seem to have reached the limits of our potential and might be turning out to be an evolutionary dead-end. Yet that does not make me feel pessimistic, as I also believe that the spiritual evolution of this creative (and destructive!) universe does not end with us…the story continues!

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