Tuesday, 24 January 2012

human rights meditations: week 1

Welcome to the first post of Human Rights Meditations. Each week we'll go through the same prompts, working our way through each article in the United Nation's Universal Declaration of Human RightsLearn more about the series here.

The goodness that will come out of this is way more about the time that you spend reflecting, and engaging in the discussion via comments below/twitter. Remember that if you're chatting via twitter use this hashtag: #hrmlak

Article 1: All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.

Read over the article above a few times and let it sink in (this is a long one, so you may want to break it up as you reflect). As you reflect on the Article, consider the following:
  • What's the first picture that came to your mind? How did you respond to what you read?
  • Reflect how you feel about yourself in comparison to others.
  • Reflect on how you perceive others in your world. 
  • Reflect on your understanding of global issues. 

Write the article down and stick it somewhere where you know you'll see it throughout the week. This will prompt you to keep the thinking going! Alternatively, write down something that has stood out to you throughout this meditation.  

Now, get talking! Let's talk openly about our thoughts on each article, what we're learning about ourselves and some of the actions we're taking to live more in line with the Declaration. Don't forget that as well as chatting via the comments below, you can get talking via twitter with the tag: #hrmlak

I'll go first: Some of the things that came up for me included

  • What is brotherhood and what are examples of how you can see it being played out in the Western World, which is super dog eat dog? 
  • How can I show the spirit of brotherhood to those in my life? 
  • What are my own prejudices and biases? 
  • I'm angry at all the laws we have in Australia that don't model dignity and respect! How can I be more active in influencing government policies and laws? 

Kate xx


  1. The image that comes to my mind is of a baby that is being "stamped" with different labels. When I read through Article 1 of the UDHR I start thinking about how many of these "labels" are placed on people by others and how we feed into that (the act of name calling is one example in our everyday lives that really impacts on other's experience of dignity)

  2. I just can't get refugees out of my mind and the negativity to people in such need... people who desperately want dignity but are treated like dogs... actually worse than dogs...amd the perception people have mainly fed by sensationalist media stories...
    and I should not comment any further right now... may or may not have had a glass or maybe 2 of champagne...

    1. I totally agree... While I get that we have formal processes that need to take place for security etc etc etc I also don't understand how it has come that these laws and processes have gone so far to laugh at the concept of dignity. Why is it the law was able to override human decency?

  3. hmpf 'brotherhood' if you have the same skin colour or from the same country perhaps?/??


    1. I think the spirit of brotherhood should be about a fair and decent treatment of all people. But I think perhaps the way people really look at it is very us vs them... It's a thin line, isn't it...

    2. yes agree - us vs them... its so common ...

  4. and then there is places where I see 'brotherhood' like at work or at a community centre where everyone is welcome and accepted and have dignity :)


thanks for your comments, I love to hear from you!


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