Tuesday, 7 February 2012

human rights meditations: week 3

Sons Of Summer - Fine Art Travel Photography TTV 8 x 12 Children playing in a small village in Laos
Sons of Summer Photograph by Maximonstertje.
Available via etsy.

Welcome to Week 3 of Human Rights Meditations. Each week we’re looking at an Article in the United Nation's Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Learn more about the series here. Remember this series is less about me and my toughts and more about yours! Be a part of the conversation via comments below or via twitter (hash tag #hrmlak).

This week we’re looking at Article 3 of the UDHR:

Article 3: Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.

Read over this article a few times and let it sink in. As you reflect, 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 by including this tag: #hrmlak

I'll go first: 
My first picture was one of American patriotism. The concept of a "bill of rights" is a little foreign to me, as we don't have one of these in Australia, but it's something I see referred to often in American media. My perception (as an outsider) is that the concept of rights is used more widely in American culture than Australia, but seems heavily focused on "my rights"- whenever I hear it referred to in American media, I get the vibe people really use it to reinforce their own rights, but not necessarily to look at the rights of others (e.g. the right to bear arms vs the right for others to feel safe). This got me wondering how we get the balance of understanding rights as they relate to us as individuals, while maintaining the "bigger picture" and acknowledging our responsibilities.

Closer to home, my thinking is taken to something we spoke about a lot at uni- that issue of the "deserving and undeserving poor". This is all about people's concept of who deserves welfare and who doesn't. Quite often people are willing to offer welfare and support to children, but not to those previously convicted of a crime, or who live with an addiction. 

What's your definition of "life", "liberty" and "security of person"? 

Kate xx

PS Sendng out a big thanks to Danny from Maximonstertje for supporting this series and sharing this beautiful photo. You can check out more of her work here.

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