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. […] 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.”
Word of Hope
Tuesday was Human Right Day, proclaimed by the United Nations in 1948 in conjunction with the release of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). I commend it to your reading: https://www.un.org/en/universal-declaration-human-rights/ .
In reading the thirty articles of the UDHR it quickly becomes easy to point out times when nations, including those nations which are signatory nations, have missed the mark. At that moment it is good to remember the adage that whenever you point a finger at someone else, three are pointing back at you.
But Eleanor Roosevelt says something very profound, and I would say very much Christ-like when she says human rights begin in small places, close to home. How close to home? My household?, my neighborhood?, my city?, my state?, my nation, my world?
Jesus said “Love your neighbor as yourself”. Where do human rights begin? Human rights begin when you love yourself and spread that love to others. Human rights begin in your heart. Human rights begin when you see God, Jesus, in yourself first and then see it manifest in others.
As we approach the time of celebrating Jesus’ birth, I give you this thought. Jesus did not come so much to save us from our sins, but to save us from ourselves.
Loving God, we fall short in our humanity of being fully human and humane, Thank you for the example and the teachings if Jesus to show us how to love ourselves and by extension all our siblings in humanity and the world we all share.
Order of Saint Francis and Saint Clare