A sense of freedom has always been one of my most passionate pursuits. As a young adult, I wrapped myself in the bondage of fears, insecurities, and doubts. My lifelong journey has been colored by my deep desire to find inner freedom as well as the freedom to express, create, and contribute. My journey took many curves, but it still continues to flower.
It pains me to hear that there are frequent on-going battles of freedom occurring all around the world. Within the past two years, millions of people in areas such as the Middle East and Africa have died trying to escape the oppression in their homeland and also to have a sense of dignity and a chance at a free life.
To my great concern, it seems like the fight for freedom has activated in our own country and society. We are experiencing extremely defensive and divisive ways of approaching policy regarding freedom by our own government. Each one of us needs to deeply take to heart what we are standing for and how we are fulfilling the vision that this country was founded on; which is freedom and equality to all people.
Watching the migrants struggle for a life of basic freedom makes me think of the struggle to survive as both a Jew and an Israeli. Knowing that struggle moves me to identify with all people fighting for their basic right to live dignified and expressive lives. This is not something I take for granted. I leave you with the words of the Dalai Lama, a true guide in these turbulent times.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is a document adopted by the United Nations in 1948 as a result of the experience of the Second World War. The declaration affirms that all human beings have the right to freedom from want and freedom from fear. These human rights are inclusive, interdependent and universal.
Whether we are concerned with suffering born of poverty, with denial of freedom, with armed conflict, or with a reckless attitude to the natural environment everywhere, we should not view these events in isolation. Eventually their repercussions are felt by all of us. We, therefore, need effective international action to address these global issues from the perspective of the oneness of humanity, and from a profound understanding of the deeply interconnected nature of today’s world.
Providing for equality under law, the declaration states that everyone is entitled to equal rights and freedoms without discrimination of any kind. Peace and freedom cannot be ensured as long as fundamental human rights are violated. Similarly, there cannot be peace and stability as long as there is oppression and suppression. It is unfair to seek one’s own interests at the cost of other people’s rights. Truth cannot shine if we fail to accept truth or consider it illegal to tell the truth. Where will the idea of truth and reality be if we push the truth and facts under the carpet and allow illegal actions to triumph?
Please remember that humanity is a sacred and special thing. Cultivate your lives for yourself and others.