When we talk about our rights, we must also talk about our responsibilities. Demanding rights without shouldering responsibilities is sheer carelessness and a dangerous recipe for strife. In a targeted world order of stability and peace, and coherence, bilateralism must prevail and be promoted over unilateralism. Giving must take precedence over taking — giving respect, giving assistance, giving care and comfort. Listening must take precedence over talking. Tolerance and acceptance must prevail over intolerance and rejection.
Equal human rights must be interwoven with equal human responsibilities and must carry a prime responsibility to exercise one’s rights responsibly, without infringing on the rights of other people. We must learn to keep the matters of our faith and our beliefs to ourselves and not impose, socially or politically, on other people who don’t share them with us or agree with us. If each one of us understands and follows this simple and basic principle, the world order would be in a much better and peaceful state.
If only we don’t judge others based on their faiths or beliefs! If only we could learn to respect others, not because of their status or wealth or authority or faith or belief or colour or gender, but just because they are humans like us! If only we could learn to be prepared to sacrifice our rights to uphold the rights of other people! If only we could learn to respect and uphold the human dignity at all costs and in any situation! If only we could learn to serve others rather than exploit them for our material benefits or lord over them! If only we could learn to cohere with all humans of diverse backgrounds!
“If only we could learn to make ourselves responsible for protecting the rights of other people, our life would be worthwhile.“
We can, if we don’t remain buried in the past that does not exist anymore. We can, if we don’t tread a regressive path that leads us to a much smaller and ignorant world. We can, if we open the doors and windows of our hearts and minds to the realism of human progress in science and discoveries, to facts and not fiction. We can, if we accept that all humans share 99.9 percent of their DNA.
Let us be humans first before wearing any other secondary or tertiary identities. Let our lives be dedicated to serving humans. Humanism must always come first. Upholding the human dignity and respect must always come first. Unless and until that does not happen, there will be no peace or happiness in the human world.
“If only we could learn to be prepared to sacrifice our rights to respect and uphold the rights of other people!“
Note: This article must be read within the framework of humanistic, social and cultural domains. It has not been written from a legal perspective and does not talk about legal rights whatsoever.
… Bill Koul (Perth, Western Australia, 09 February 2021)