Today is Human Rights Day. It’s a day for honoring those who have helped achieve the freedom, equality, and dignity many are fortunate enough to enjoy, and to acknowledge that there are many who have yet to receive these necessary rights. Even in the U.S, one of the wealthiest countries in the world, we have immense suffering happening all around us.
One of the questions I have been asked recently is: Why go to another country for human rights work? Why not work here where we also have problems?
It’s a great question. We do have poverty, inequality, violence, abuse, and general disempowerment running through our very own nation. There is no denying it. Turn on the news for 5 minutes and you will see the hard times on our soil.
Even as I was researching sex-trafficking history and statistics in preparation for my service project in India this year, “Colorado” kept popping up in the searches. What??? Since I live in Colorado I had to follow it. Turns out, Colorado is in the top 3 for U.S. states where children and women (mostly) are being trafficked. I was floored. I had no idea.
So yes, suffering is everywhere – even in a first-world country as wealthy, “progressive”, and growth-oriented as ours. But where do we draw the line of “us” and “them”? What are our personal limits for service? Shall we only help our own families? Or the people of our own ethnicity, perhaps? Help only the people who share our religious beliefs? Help only humans and not animals? Our community or state? Or is our country where we draw the line and everyone else should fend for themselves?
In a conversation last night with Diana Fried, Founder of Acupuncturists Without Borders, we talked about this very thing. And she says to me in response to this question, “I’m a global citizen and I won’t draw a boundary of who I will and won’t provide for.”
Cheers to that. I don’t want to either. Suffering is suffering.
And the truth is, I want to be of service everywhere. To me, being of service is simply this: a state of mind anyhow. And it can penetrate each moment of our lives and extend wherever we are willing to go either physically or energetically if we let it. If you want to see something change about this country, believe me, so do I. I have a growing list of causes and organizations I can’t wait to work with. It is only a matter of opportunity, time, and resources. So tell me, what is it you would like to work on with me?
(And FYI, one U.S. dollar can go a thousand times farther in just about any other country in the world. A tiny amount of money to most of us in the U.S. can feed, house, provide medical care, and education for several people in developing nations!)
We are all sharing this world – for a limited time, nonetheless. How can we turn our backs on anyone who is suffering? Let’s pause today to celebrate and affirm that all Beings around the world are entitled to basic rights. Let that be our driving force to continue to show up in this world today, and every day.
Thanks for reading and until next time,
P.S. If you are interested in seeing me do more, please consider donating today. All donations are tax-exempt through the Boulder Institute, 501(c)(3).
P.P.S. Human Rights Day was established in honor of the United Nations’ 1948 adoption of the “Universal Declaration of Human Rights,” a standard of freedoms deserved by and owed to all peoples and all nations of the world. Amen to that.
P.P.P. S. I’m serious. I want to know what gets you excited! Comment below or send me an email telling me about what causes you to open your heart and be of service!