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"Culture is the heritage of us all. some may be more interested than others in the treasures of the past, but no one can fail to take a pride in his country's participation in the story of mankind, as represented in carvings, sculpture, music, paintings and the other arts. And there is a personal commitment to this, for no man can really say he is alone: we are all joined through our identity, with the cultures which are part of the mainstream of life"
- Simon Kapwepwe, Zambian Independence Freedom Fighter

"Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm" - Winston Churchill

"Try to be the rainbow in someone else's cloud" - Maya Angelou

"Your time is limited so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinion drown out your inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition" - Steve Jobs

Saturday, 11 December 2010

Human Rights Day

Today is Human Rights Day.  Unlike other days I don't think it's widely acknowledged.  I think this is the first year I knew it existed and was reminded by an email I got today at work. As I was saying here, these days should either fall on the same week or they should be better publicised. In light of what I have discussed with regards to AIDS due to World AIDs day last week, I thought this quote from UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Ms. Navanethem Pillay, was rather appropriate:

Advocacy stems both from necessity and empathy, that is, the ability to identify with somebody else's condition and to feel them as one's own.  It is such empathy, regardless of distance in time or space or custom, and the common notion that all human beings are entitled to dignity and respect that have built the human rights movement and underpinned its progress. Each day the human rights movement wins more supporters, but we must not be complacent.

I read today that the Rwandan genocide archive has been unveiled.  You can view some of it here. We should never forget what happened. Especially today.  One of these days I will muster the courage to watch Hotel Rwanda again.  Watching that movie traumatised me for life.  I had a mini nervous breakdown in the cinema bathroom after viewing it.  I am not particularly thrilled to go through that again. Once was enough thanks.

As humans, as altruistic as we like to think we are, we are motivated by the things we care about.  It is scary to think that there are people who do not care for lives beyond their own, and sometimes they don't even care about themselves! We can only hope to grow into better people. More importantly, that we actually go about growing and not just talk the talk but walk it proudly!

2011 is the Year of People of African descent I have just learned from reading Navanethem Pillay's speech. Hmmmmmmmm.  In the last two months I really have been bombarded with news such as this year was the Year of the Lung and all these days that keep popping up.  I am going to have to post about this...

I just had a conversation with my sister about the fact that neither Bai Ki Moon or Koffi Annan ever had a Mr. in front of their names but Navanethem Pillay is qualified by a Ms.  She said it is so we know she is a woman and I was like I know but well why should we always assume that people are men and why don't we refer to everyone as Mr. or Ms. and she was like well men ruled the world so that's how it is. Well it can be changed. We are still being singled out if we have the Ms. People will continue to assume that someone is a man if they cannot tell unless they see a Ms. unless we change it. It is a human right not to have to be singled out so I say! And with a name that is unisex where I am from (and is qualified naturally to distinguish as a he or she equally) and that the world at large would not be able to decipher even if it was just a girl's name because of where it is from, I am particularly concerned about this. I also need to stop abusing
the world "well" in this post....and "like" for that matter ;}

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