If you’re reading this right now, chances are good that you have heard the phrase, “First-World Problem”. I find myself thinking this phrase more than I would like, but I count myself damned lucky that I’m even aware of what it means.
When you live in a country as rich as America, it’s easy to take things for granted and forget that so many other places in the world lack basic, human rights. When you read the words “human rights” what comes to mind? Food? Shelter? Clean water? Freedom? Living life without fear for one’s safety? It can be difficult to empathize with those who do not have these things, if you, yourself, have always had them.
May 28th is “Amnesty International Day” and it’s a chance for you to help those in other places throughout the world who are being starved, tortured, oppressed, or who may have no shelter, no access to clean water, no one to speak up for them, and worst of all, no hope.
Image borrowed from amnesty.org
“Amnesty International Day recognizes the need to protect human rights around the world. The Amnesty International organization strives to accomplish these goals by providing awareness and recognition of the issues. They work to publicize local and regional problems, and to arouse citizens, governments and politicians to action.
Celebrate Amnesty International Day by:
- Learning more about human rights issues
- Becoming active in human rights causes
- Writing your politician on human rights issues
- Making a donation” ~ Source
This post isn’t meant to guilt trip you into donating anything, be it time, money or effort. It’s not a late-night infomercial showing you pitiful images of children who are little more than walking skeletons due to malnourishment. (As a side note: isn’t it telling that such infomercials are not on prime time television where so many more people would/could see them, but instead they are in late night spots where they won’t get the attention they need? Why do you suppose that is?)
Amnesty International logo from Amnesty.org
I simply would like you to take a moment to think about what human rights you cherish the most and then find a way to help bring that right to a complete stranger. There are, unfortunately, countless human rights violations happening all over the globe. On the bright side, that means that there are countless opportunities to help. You can sign petitions, write letters, make phone calls, get involved in your local community. Or you can join movements like Amnesty International, and while the day is “Amnesty International Day”, nothing says you can’t join other worthwhile organizations who also strive to speak up for human rights. In fact, here is a quite comprehensive list of Human Rights Organizations, all in one place.
“Many organizations around the world dedicate their efforts to protecting human rights and ending human rights abuses. Major human rights organizations maintain extensive websites documenting violations and calling for remedial action, both at a governmental and grass-roots level. Public support and condemnation of abuses is important to their success, as human rights organizations are most effective when their calls for reform are backed by strong public advocacy.” ~ http://www.humanrights.com
“If you have food in the refrigerator, clothes on your back, a roof overhead and a place to sleep … you are richer than 75% of this world.
If you have money in the bank, in your wallet, and spare change in a dish someplace … you are among the top 8% of the world’s wealthy.
If you woke up this morning with more health than illness … you are more blessed than the million who will not survive this week.
If you have never experienced the danger of battle, the loneliness of imprisonment, the agony of torture, or the pangs of starvation… you are ahead of 500 million people in the world.
If you can attend a church or synagogue meeting without fear of harassment, arrest, torture, or death … you are more blessed than three billion people in the world.
If your parents are still alive and still married … you are very rare, even in the United States.
If you hold up your head with a smile on your face and are truly thankful … you are blessed because the majority can, but most do not.
If you can hold someone’s hand, hug them or even touch them on the shoulder … you are blessed because you can offer a healing touch.
If you can read this message, you just received a double blessing in that someone was thinking of you, and furthermore, you are more blessed than over two billion people in the world that cannot read at all.“