Hello and welcome.
I’m Rose Anderson, a romance novelist participating in the International Blog Action Day today.
Follow the link for other participants. At last count 1, 717 bloggers from 124 countries and 26 languages have joined hands around the globe to highlight the topic of Human Rights. Why would a romance writer take part? The answer is simple – because the subject concerns us all, and I wear my heart upon my sleeve. I have empathy.
Empathy is recognizing the bodily feelings of another. Essentially, it’s the ability to put oneself in another’s shoes. To get a good feel for just how ingrained this trait is, observe very young children sometime. I’ve seen a child cry when watching a sliver being removed from someone else’s finger. It’s fascinating to note that infants will cry upon hearing the recorded cries of other infants, but they won’t cry if their own is played back. Empathy is part of who we are.
People who’ve made a study of the human condition say the capacity for empathy likely evolved as a survival mechanism. As mammals, we must be sensitive to the needs of our offspring and empathy allows us to recognize those needs. From the earliest point on the Homo sapiens timeline, humans have been social beings dependent upon cooperation to survive. Some feel it was our sociability and empathy combined that actually drove our evolution.
That said, how is then that a species with an inborn trait of empathy is able to inflict suffering upon others? What switch must get turned off to allow the mind to ignore such a basic part of our humanity – the empathy we are all born with?
Atrocious things, horrific things, happen around the world each day that contradict the basic fabric of our being, and for what? Wealth, Power, or Hatred.
After the atrocities of WWII shocked the senses of the world, the newly formed United Nations established a Human Rights Commission. U.S. president Harry Truman appointed first lady Eleanor Roosevelt as the United States delegate to contribute to a Universal Declaration of Human Rights, in part, because of her activism on behalf of the war refugees.
A long-time advocate of compassion and human dignity, Eleanor Roosevelt brought her experience and passionate opinions to the table. She’s been credited with keeping the wording clear and to the point, and the first global expression of inherent human rights was created. A commanding piece of work, at that. This declaration was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in December 1948. The Guinness Book of World Records sites the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which has been translated into 370 languages and dialects from Abkhaz to Zulu, as the most translated document in the world.
This impressive achievement is a tribute to empathy and the best of humanity. How worthwhile to acquaint ourselves with the powerful wording. Perhaps teaching and reiterating these basic principles in early education can help keep the switches turned on.
Find the complete document on the United Nations website.
A list of Human Rights issues
a global movement of more than 3 million people
from over 150 countries and territories,
campaigning to end grave abuses of human rights.
*Become informed * Become a voice for change*
Rose Anderson is multi-published, award-winning, author and dilettante who loves great conversation and discovering interesting things to weave into stories. She lives with her family and small menagerie amid oak groves and prairie in the rolling glacial hills of the upper Midwest. Find her novels in ebook and paperback wherever books are sold.
“You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.”