Human Rights Day 2017 is history, yet its importance is a gentle reminder that one day of recognition is not enough–every day must be a human rights day. Human Rights Day is celebrated annually across the world December 10 and “was created to honor the United Nations General Assembly’s … first global enunciation of human rights. It was one of the first major achievements of the new United Nations.” This year I’m encouraging you to do your part (yes, you have a part). Make and be the difference:
Speak up – Here’s what I know: I am a person of influence and my voice, whenever it is raised, makes a difference. As my favorite *TV grandfather, Will Sonnet, often said: “that’s no brag, that’s fact.” Trust me, I’m not saying it to beat my chest or be important, I’m simply saying most of us have more influence than money, whether we acknowledge it or not, and when we call our friends in high and low places, they take our calls. Make some calls. Ask the tough questions. Pay attention to what’s going on around you, be informed—and while whatever influence we choose to exert, great or small, put all your weight behind it and make it count.
Be proactive and make freedom, justice, and equity your business today. The Edmund Burke quote, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good **people to do nothing,” seems appropriate here. Whether it’s affordable housing, immigrant /deportation/resettlement, human trafficking—all these things are women’s issues so we must pick a topic and insert our energy into it. Our methods of attack differ, but trust me, we all want the same thing—(a) great neighbors and safe neighborhoods, (b) a decent, peaceful place to be, (c) clean, gun and violence-free schools with amazing teachers, (d) affordable healthcare, (e) equal/decent pay, work with dignity in an environment that supports our hopes and dreams, (f) the right for our bodies and minds to be respected without fear of harassment and rape—(g) all of the above! Let’s work and advocate for these things for ourselves and our neighbors—wherever they may be. Every day. Contact your legislators and support candidates whose beliefs match yours, AND if you have the stomach for it, run for office yourself.
Today it’s easy to be overwhelmed by a never-ending news cycle covering the resignations of men in high places, daily terrorist attacks that kill innocents in the name of religion, teen shootings, wildfires and extreme weather conditions, partisan politicians, wah, wah, wah, wah, yet at the end of the day, our mandate from God to love one another remains the same. Let’s work every day, in some way, to make God proud of our efforts to love and respect one another. Amen. Be blessed as we remember the reason this season!
*The Guns of Will Sonnet, (1967-1969) starred three-time Oscar winner Walter Brennan, who with his grandson, Jeff, (that lil cute Dack Rambo) set out to find son, James, a notorious gunfighter. Will had to often remind folks that his son and grandson were mighty fine with a gun but he was better than both. He stated emphatically—“no brag, just fact.”
**Original language says “men” but since almost half of the world’s population is female, I say we apply some real pressure and shake things up!
Looking for inspiration, empowerment, uplift, straight talk, an encouraging word to brighten your day? You’ve arrived! Meet Dr. Cynthia Ann Bond Hopson, best-selling author, educator, inspirational speaker, sistergirl–she’s all that and more. All the way from Stanton, TN (you can’t get there from here) to 50 states, six continents and everything in between, she’s wise, witty and altogether wonderful. She enthusiastically invites you to slow down, sit a spell, and share a giggle or two.