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On Human Rights Day, Consider Acceptance

When Is It Going To Be Enough?

There are girls who are daily tormented in washrooms simply because they don't look like a typical girl - they might be quite tall, or have short hair, for instance. There are kids who are exploring their sexualities or gender identities as young as seven, and they are fighting prejudice, if not hatred, from the second they walk out the door. The news is packed with a litany of lists of wounded and killed in human rights disasters in places like Syria or the Sudan, and it's not just grown ups who are caught in these messes - it's kids.

When is it going to be enough? Why are people so blinded by the notion that they have to rule all, or that they have to be in the right, that they will try and prove it at all costs? People of every religion, gender identity, sexual identity and of course race have been badly injured if not killed as a result of hate.

Politicians of every stripe are either telling the cameras watching them that they're going to look into the issues and start an inquiry, or something, and others are exhorting the people they are ruling to follow them, for it's the deviants that will eventually cause society's upheaval and the collapse of all that everyone knows. Meanwhile, more are harmed. More are killed.

We talk of things like a zero tolerance policy - such things have been a part of school boards for at least the last decade and a half. What does that ultimately look like, though? What does that mean for alleged perpetrators of violence and for their victims?

It's hard to envision what a zero tolerance policy looks like. Sure, schools can suspend and even expel, but what message do we send to the person who's enacted the violence, and how is the victim or the rest of the school population going to see how it's dealt with? Do we expect teachers or administration to enact the same sort of violence upon the offender?

We can't. That would make us no better than the person who was violent in the first place, and we are supposed to be teaching our children - the leaders of our future generations - better than that. The only real recourse schools have is to suspend or expel the perpetrator, and generally speaking, if someone is going to exact violence on someone, they likely won't care about being out of school for a couple of days.

Could you imagine if we translated a "zero tolerance policy" from schools into the world theater? Places like Syria or the Sudan might see their current leaders be ousted, but what then? There's no king or queen of the world that can be deployed in such situations in order to provide calm and decisive leadership in the short term until someone who isn't going to be violent is in charge.

I don't know if it's a desire for power or right fighting - the desire to be right no matter what - just gone wrong.

Embrace Acceptance And Diversity


The Human Race

Jamie Lee Curtis is a bit of a Renaissance woman, and I adore her. My favorite movie of hers is True Lies, and I was quite excited to learn that she'd also written a series of children's books. One my girls and I particularly liked is one called Is There Really a Human Race? To me, the book speaks volumes about acceptance and working together - that in the end, we should all cross the race together, religion, creed, sexuality, gender identity and so forth completely forgotten as we continue on our way together.

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What better way to live your life than by thinking we are all in this world together, so why don't we try and make the most of our time here? It's OK to disagree with people, because it's human nature - we're allowed to disagree with each other. Disagreements, however, shouldn't lead to abuses.

So many have forgotten the simple act of kindness or just being decent to one another. There's an old expression that says "live and let live." Whatever happened to that? Why can't we accept the differences we all see in one another - the flaws, the positives, and everything else - and just walk away saying, "Have a great day?"

We're in the human race. It shouldn't matter what religion you are, what your sexuality is or what gender identity you're feeling. It just doesn't make a difference.

Kindness does.

Belief in each other does.

Being positive does.

Listening when your fellow human needs someone to listen matters, and so does talking when you feel particularly bothered by something.

See, some of the absolute best relationships can come out of disagreements or differences. Nothing but death and destruction and a host of mental health challenges result from punishing someone just for being different than you'd want them to be.

Acceptance. Spread that around.

Acceptance And Human Rights


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