Something to Think About – The R’s of Life – Survival in a Modern World – Our Rights – Part One – Sally Cronin

When I was revisiting these posts from two years ago, it occurred to me that I was ranting a bit…. well more than a bit. What also struck me is that what I thought was bad then is even worse now. The collective thinking and consideration for each other is clearly not newsworthy, and whilst I know that the majority of people work hard, take responsibility for their lives, health, children, income, housing, education, old age care, pay taxes, and contribute to the community, there are a lot more people today who feel that they have a right to leech off that sector of the comminity than ever before.

For example, recently a family who have never worked talked about how they had a right since it was government money. Sorry the government has rarely made a penny itself, but has legally and sometimes stealthily removed it from the pockets of the general population who have worked very hard for it! So as a taxpayer from the age of 16, I have to say… that it is my money. Where do people imagine the money comes from to pay benefits, support a free health service, educate children etc?

As never before, across so many elements of modern life we are hearing the statement ‘It’s my right.’

What also interested me was that in many cases that expression of right, was referring to something that was not internationally recognised as a ‘right’. For example.. the right to obesity surgery, cosmetic surgery, have a baby even without means to support it, live on benefits for a lifetime, vote in elections when in prison, to be drunk and disorderly, to take drugs, to smoke, to riot, to loot, to carry firearms, to make racist comments. And all justified very passionately, including attached to the statement relating to recognised health hazards….’It’s my body’. Absolutely, until someone, usually the health service has to step in and try to undo the damage you have done to ‘your body’.

What are the official ‘Human Rights’ we should all expect?

I decided to look at the official version of what is considered to be the ‘rights’ of every human on the planet.  I am going to look at each of the ‘rights’ as laid out and explore the reality that I perceive. I am not an expert in the application of Human Rights and these opinions may not be acceptable to everyone. I hope however that they will give you something to consider the next time you feel that you need to establish your ‘rights’.

There is one thing that I do believe and that is that for every ‘right’ there is an ‘obligation’. That obligation is on us, the recipients of the ‘right’ to ensure that we value the privilege of having access to it in the first place.

There is no way that this is going to be one post…. so I am going to spread it over a number and divide appropriately where possible.

There are thirty Articles established in a Bill of Rights by the United Nations. These identify which rights every human on this planet is entitled to, and certainly, if all of these thirty articles were adhered to, the world would be a much better place.

However, it is clear from the headlines that we read daily, these rights that are allegedly attached to every human being on the planet are discriminatory and not adhered to by far too many governments around the world.

What this bill of human rights should really be called is a Wish List’. If you are reading this then the chances are you are living in a country where there is a commitment to adhering to the concepts laid out, and in most cases this commitment is successful but needs work.

However, if you look at the summary of the main points of the bill over the next few chapters, you will immediately be able to name certain countries that have not taken this seriously; continuing to treat the humans under their jurisdiction with total disregard for their rights or freedom. Whether it is a woman who has been stoned to death for alleged adultery or the imprisonment of those who choose to disagree with governmental policy; there is a huge discrepancy between cultures.

We might recognise that we are fortunate in where we live and our freedoms, and sympathise with those still living under the harsher regimes, but it is actually overwhelming and tough to understand how we, as an individual,  can make a difference.

However, we also have to recognise that with every ‘right’  we enjoy there comes that ‘obligation’. There is of course a general obligation to appreciate how very lucky we are to enjoy the majority of the following rights, and there are also very specific obligations to qualify us for that particular privilege.

You might also question why we should be concerned about these Human Rights, since so many of them refer to those who do not have them!. Whilst it is probably fair to say that getting global adherence to these rights is unlikely to happen in our lifetimes, it is important that we do at least make a start on the project for the sake of the next generation and those that follow.

1. All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. Every human is entitled to all the rights outlined in the bill irrespective of race, colour, sex, language, religion, politics, nationality, style of government of home country, social status, ownership of property.

This first article is very general and is a ‘mission statement’ that identifies that all humans are entitled to expect and receive the rights as laid out. Very laudable but without measurements of the numbers of those who currently receive or do not receive the rights, it is vague.

2. Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.

Absolutely, but again this is only possible for those born into environments where liberty and security are established under democratic law. For those born in countries where there is dictatorial rule and inherent violence, they will never have that right. Although vague this does come with an obligation. Liberty is not just freedom to live safely within an environment, it is also about the ‘rights’ that we have been given to ensure that liberty for our lifetime and those of our children. This includes the right to vote for a government who protects our rights as individuals and as a nation.

Our obligation: In 2015, which was a critical general election with the prospect of a referendum on the EU looming, 66.1% of the UK eligible voters went to the polls. This means that nearly 34% of the UK population did not exercise their right to vote for a government that would take them into a very crucial time in British history.

There are millions around the world who do not have this right to vote for a democratic government and it would seem to me that there is every reason to ask those 34% of voters why they chose not to exercise their right… and make sure that they understand how important their contribution is.

3. No one should be held in slavery or servitude and the slave trade is prohibited in all its forms.

Slavery has been abolished but it still thrives. Here is an excerpt from a global study by the United Nations based on information from 155 countries.

‘The term trafficking in persons can be misleading: it places emphasis on the transaction aspects of a crime that is more accurately described as enslavement . Exploitation of people, day after day. For years on end.

According to the Report, the most common form of human trafficking (79%) is sexual exploitation. The victims of sexual exploitation are predominantly women and girls. Surprisingly, in 30% of the countries which provided information on the gender of traffickers, women make up the largest proportion of traffickers. In some parts of the world, women trafficking women is the norm.

The second most common form of human trafficking is forced labour (18%), although this may be a misrepresentation because forced labour is less frequently detected and reported than trafficking for sexual exploitation.

Worldwide, almost 20% of all trafficking victims are children. However, in some parts of Africa and the Mekong region, children are the majority (up to 100% in parts of West Africa)’.

Having read the executive summary it is important to note that only percentages are used and there is no mention of the fact that those percentages represent millions of women, men and children worldwide.

Our Obligation: Do not remain silent if you believe there is any form of this vile trade being conducted around you. In most countries there is a way to report crimes anonymously and in the UK you can contact Crimestoppers – – that one call could prevent the suffering and often death of an individual or a much larger group.

4. No one shall be subjected to torture, cruel or inhuman treatment, degradation or punishment.

Obviously this one is definitely not globally adhered to by governments; in fact there are probably far too many countries employing these tactics than not.

But what about our personal obligation to ensure that where we live, this ‘right’ is afforded to as many people as possible?

The one cruel and degrading treatment that comes to mind is bullying. There has been a steady increase in the number of young teenagers committing suicide which is unacceptable.

Bullying Frequency

Recent U.S. studies have found that 28% of students in grades 6-12 and 20% of students in grades 9-12 have experienced bullying. That’s between 1 in 4 and 1 in every 3 students in the U.S.

But, the UK Annual Bullying Survey of 2017 has showed more alarming results. The survey was conducted in secondary schools and colleges all across the United Kingdom. 54% of all respondents said that they have been bullied at some point in their lives – that’s every other child! 1 in 5 said that they’ve been bullied within the past year, and 1 in 10 has been bullied at least one in the past week.

Number one motive for bullying was attitude towards victim’s appearance – 50% of all bullying motives. 40% were attitudes towards interest and hobbies, followed by attitudes towards high grades, household income, low grades, family issues, disabilities, race, cultural identity, religion, sexuality and gender identity.

The most common type of bullying is reported to be verbal bullying, followed by physical, cyber and social.

This is in countries where we like to think we are civilized and live in a free and democratic society. Worryingly these statistics will be mirrored in most of our countries.

Our obligation begins as parents.. a school is a place to be educated and basic civilisation and morality should be taught in the home before a child begins to interact with others.

The school then has an obligation to have a zero tolerance policy on bullying, but that can only happen when those who are bullied come forward, which they are more often than not too scared to do so. Also these days there appear to be far too few consequences for the act of bullying towards another. Detention just seems to enhance the culprit’s status amongst their usual sycophantic following. Removal of phone and other online privileges are not effective as they buy a burner phone or use public online access.

Personally, and at the risk of causing a PC melt-down, I favour a little public humiliation in the form of the stocks and well aimed rotten tomatoes.

As bosses and leaders there is also an obligation to ensure there is a zero tolerance policy in the workplace. This is enlightened self-interest since businesses are badly impacted by bullying, not to mention work-related discrimination law suits. Bullying in the workplace tends to be towards groups as well as individuals and can be insidious. The intolerance to bullying needs to be emphasised at induction training of all staff at every level, and should be included in performance reviews annually. The tone needs to be set from the top down. And considering the millions of sick days taken each year which impact the bottom line of every business, many stress related, bosses need to ensure that bullying is not part of their culture.

As individuals we also have to accept the responsibility. It is easier to turn our backs when we see individual or group abuse happening and some of that is self-preservation. But what if it was our child or grandchild. At the very least, if there is a personal safety issue, there is no reason not to pick up a phone and talk to someone who can deal with the matter as quickly as possible. If urgent, then the police, but if systemic in your neighbourhood, work with the council and community outreach programmes.

Sometimes a problem can appear to be so overwhelming and we can feel that our contribution will be a mere drop in the ocean. However, if our actions only help just one person who is trapped in this nightmare, then we have done a good thing. Multiplied by millions of individuals doing the right thing… and a huge difference can be made.

©sallycronin The R’s of Life

Next time –  Rights and the Legal system.

You can find the other chapters in the series in this directory… and your feedback is always welcome:

52 thoughts on “Something to Think About – The R’s of Life – Survival in a Modern World – Our Rights – Part One – Sally Cronin

  1. Stocks and rotten tomatoes sound like a plan to me…Seriously bullying has so got out of hand and something needs to be done and quick…But some habits are learnt at home unfortunately so short sharp punishments need to be the actioned on the spot if necessary with policeman and teachers protected by the law if they apply the rod….It never hurt me…xxx

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Having read this article quite carefully, Sally, it is woefully apparent that most countries fall severely short on these rights. Bullying and mistreatment of children at school is an enormous problem and the school tends to address such issues by assigning blame equally to all parties. How is that fair. How does that teach the bully a lesson when the recipient of the bullying has to apologise to him/her. Sure, the bully also has to apologise but they are usually the empowered party anyhow so they still seem to end up on the receiving end of it all.

    Liked by 4 people

    • I agree Roberta and we are now carrying this PC nonsense too far. A child has to understand boundaries and that there are consequences. I don’t believe in corporal punishment, but I do believe in sanctions that mean something significant. Such as removal of phones, online access and acknowledging responsibility for their actions. I don’t believe that a victim should apologise. The punishment should be sufficient to act as a deterrent to others. Part of the problem in schools are the size of the classes which creates a huge problem for a teacher however dedicated. It is like herding cats, and in my experience it is usually just one or two students who are the problem, attention seeking and usually the bullies. Teachers today now have even fewer options and those they have are seen as adding street cred to the pupils concerned. A teacher’s role is to educate.. it is not to instil manners and socialised behaviour and that should be done before a child even gets to school. But if a child has been in unprofessional childcare from the age of a few months, that responsibility has been handed off to someone who is not necessarily invested in the future of that child, just the money it brings in and that it is fed and has its nappy changed. They do not hold a baby for hours and bond with it, sing to it read to it individually. I know that there are excellent childminders available. But for some parents looking for the cheap option (fees are so extortionate) they are handing babies over to amateurs. I know that I will be criticised for saying this. But I don’t believe you can have it all. Motherhood is a full-time job and should be regarded as such by parents and the government. Children are the future workforce, politicians, artists, doctors, nurses, teachers and those first few years are crucial in their development. This is why I question the right for everyone to have a child, particularly older women who are single and in a career. It takes a village to raise a child and as we move into insular family units children will suffer. Sorry to go into rant mode Robbie, but something that I am passionate about. I have seen far too many both in the workplace and also in the last 20 plus years of counselling men and women not to appreciate how important those first few years are. xx

      Liked by 4 people

      • I also feel strongly about the protection off children, Sally. It nearly broke my heart when I had to go back to work and leave my boys even though I negotiated a 6 hour work day and stuck to it like glue. Lucky for me I am good at my job so they accommodated my request. I still feel bad when I go to work and my boys are on holiday or I am late home. My sister goes back to work soon and I know it is going to be so hard for her. Luckily, another sister, Hayley, has offered to look after Coco Rose. I can’t because I am supporting a number of family members. It is wonderful that Hayley is stepping up.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I can tell that you are an amazing mum Robbie by the interaction that you have with the boys. And you minimised your time apart and they are much older now and more self-sufficient. It is great that Coco Rose with have an aunt to look after her and that again is something that so many family are missing… the extended family unit.. That is why grandparents are so important… hugsx


      • Many, many years ago, when I had my babies, I opted to stay at home and bring them up myself. (I was out of the workplace for 10 years.)
        At a party ( we used to have them in those days) a working mother, young, like me, told me I’d been brainwashed into not going back to work. Imwanted to spend time with my lovely children. No one suggested it was my duty, or anything else.
        I agree that much would be improved if mothers stayed at home, at least until all children are at school. It might also release some jobs for others!

        Liked by 1 person

      • I think when it is possible, the mother does belong at home at least until the children are well into school. However, sometimes, it just is not possible when that is the case though, people should make good choices for childcare and still remain involved.

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        Liked by 1 person

      • I agree with you Viv… and take my hat off to you. And I also think that mothers go through 9 months, a long labour and surely part of having a child is to enjoy your time with them in those early years, preparing them fully for their time in the real world, all too soon and so complicated and demanding.


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  4. I think stocks and tomatoes is a great start. I also believe that there are far far too many people having children who have no business what so ever to do so.
    I’ve said a multitude of times that a person who is drawing any government assistance what so ever should lose said assistance if they get pregnant again while receiving that assistance and let me tell you I’ve made several persons angry while doing so.
    I raised my daughter as a single disabled parent and we hit many pitfalls along the way but the one thing I did not do was to get pregnant again. I took great measures to keep from doing so because I was already falling through the cracks as it was and my daughter suffered mightily because of it.
    It is only by the grace of her higher power that she is the type of young mother she is today.
    I have also suffered bullying and nothing was done. I finally took my chances with being punished for it and took matters into my own hands and thankfully for me a teacher had witnessed and tried to stop the bullying and when it finally came to a head and I socked the girl flat out in the face and told her in no uncertain terms she would from that moment onward leave me be he took my part.
    That was many moons ago however and things are much different now and for the worst.
    I do not think kids need all these digital devices with no supervision and I do not think they should be locked away in their rooms watching TV or on their computers.
    Parents need to start being parents again and I wish to all the powers in the universe I’d had material such as what you provide available to me when I was raising my daughter. Things might have been a whole lot different for us.
    I was not always the responsible decent person you know today and a heavy price I have paid for that.
    Some day parents who would criticize my way of thinking now will be wishing like me that they’d done things differently.
    Most likely when they find themselves headed toward becoming a senior citizen and realize they’re alone and at the mercy of the system they did nothing to make better.
    OK. shutting up now.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I absolutely agree with you Patty and thank your for your honesty.. that first four or five years are crucial before a child goes to school. To be honest with you I had a nanny babyhood and then my two sisters took care of me when they got home from school… they had a big hand in bringing me up and thank goodness for it. I chose a career and over the years got some stick for not having children, with pointed remarks as if I was some alien entity who was clearly without any maternal instinct. There was a physical reason for me not being able to have children, but even so 27 years ago we felt there were enough children in the world already and if it was not to be then so be it. And not everyone is cut out to be a parent.. it is not and nor should it be a stigma…And whilst there are accidents, in this day and age there is a great many options for preventing pregnancy, particularly if you do not have the means to support a child. hugs xxx

      Liked by 1 person

      • Well, I’d like to add a moment more to my part of the rant…

        I have issue with the well fair system and its work/volunteer program not making disabled persons participate.

        OK. Maybe you’re not able to hold down even a part time job but it has been my experience everyone can do something and I think there are lots of things going undone in my country that disabled persons could be put to doing.

        I have never and I do mean never been so furious when I applied for assistance benefits when I was told that I couldn’t qualify for certain parts of the program because I was disabled and could not correctly participate. This mind you was told to me while I was volunteering for an organization for which I eventually held a supervisory position as Volunteer Coordinator.

        When I began as a volunteer I had no technical skills but with a lot of hard work and some people who saw my potential I became something far beyond what those dunces at the Department of Human Services thought I could do.

        Furthermore I went above that twit’s head and did indeed get those portions of the services due me while volunteering and then going to work.

        This world is way too full of idiots.

        One more thing while I’m at it, I think there are lots of things going undone that homeless persons could and would do in return for a decent efficiency apartment and that by enlarge there are lots of people who are homeless who wouldn’t be if they were given half a chance.

        OK. Going back underneath my rock again.

        Well, maybe I’ll lie on top of it since the sun is shining.



  5. Hurray for you, Sally. The eldest of our three sons – being a quieter, more studious child – chose not to join ” the small gang who plagued the public during lunch-time by throwing eggs and flour at cyclists and other dangerous pursuits, ” so they bullied him. He returned home early from school one day and vowed never to return! Fortunately, the headmaster had learned of this before I had the opportunity of contacting him, and kindly came to our house to talk to our son. The problem was dealt with, he returned to school and continued his education in peace. Sadly,bullying doesn’t always have a happy ending… Hugs xx

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I’ve always believed rights and responsibilities go hand in hand but that no longer seems to be a fashionable line of thinking. Along with the right to free speech, comes the responsibility not to to say things which are going to cause harm to an individual or group – something internet trolls seem to not care about. In Scotland we have the right to roam, which means we can walk anywhere, but we also have a responsibility for our own safety and to safeguarding the farmer’s land. The right to roam doesn’t give a person the right to march, with a dog off the lead, through a field of sheep, nor does it give a person the right to claim compensation because they chose to walk in a field with a bull which charged them.
    If everyone thought about their responsibilities – or obligations as you call them – before they start demanding rights we might live in a happier world.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I was in deep rural Africa in a small ill-equipped school when I noticed a poster on the wall. On one side the rights of the child – food, shelter, love etc. On the other the child’s responsibilities, obey, help in the house,, work hard in school etc etc. listen to adults, I was so impressed.
    We all know how young children are groomed on the web by unscrupulous men – I see the general public being groomed by the media the same way, to demand, expect, refrain from free speech, accept people living no benefits, unmarried mothers having multiple children etc etc. I shudder to see that is happening and there is no stopping it. No one has the courage to stand up and say it out loud and if they try they are labelled and shot down.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Stocks and Tomatoes sound good but in fairness to the perpetrator, we have to be certain they are not allergic to wood products or the active ingredients in tomatoes. If found to be allergic maybe a firing squad. Super post, Sally

    Liked by 2 people

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  11. Sally, you give us a lot to think about here. I love that with each “right” you included an “obligation.” I think that is the part folks are missing when they yell about their rights. They have obligations too! This is much-needed!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Reblogged this on The Rose Project and commented:
    I highly recommend reading this article to all of my viewers or followers who wish to become better informed in regards to the laws surrounding human trafficking. It is mandated by the law that all people are entitled to a life of free will and opportunity, however, human trafficking strips that away from people. Life loses it sense of choice and becomes arduous, it is appalling that this is still such a prevalent issue in the present day.

    It is so common, in fact, that women are taught from very young ages to not walk alone on the streets at night or to be highly cautious at all times. Nobody chooses to become a part of human trafficking, people are deprived of life a as a result of the abusive actions of others. It is shocking that the perpetrators of this crime are the average people who seem to lead happy lives with successful families. One can never know where the guilt lies.

    Liked by 1 person

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