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Freedom of Opinion and Information (Updated)

These days violence, intolerance, racism, discrimination seems to increase again. More and more people need to flee their homes and/or their countries, in the hope to find safety and peace elsewhere on our world. When even leaders have forgotten our Universal Human Rights, I feel it’s time and very important to remind us all again of our Universal Human Rights.


“The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly at its 3rd session on 10 December 1948 at the Palais de Chaillot in Paris, France. The full text is available on the United Nations website.

The Declaration consists of thirty articles affirming an individual’s rights which, although not legally binding in themselves, have been elaborated in subsequent international treaties, economic transfers, regional human rights instruments, national constitutions, and other laws. The International Bill of Human Rights consists of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and its two Optional Protocols. In 1966, the General Assembly adopted the two detailed Covenants, which complete the International Bill of Human Rights.” Source: Wikipedia 

“The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) is a milestone document in the history of human rights. Drafted by representatives with different legal and cultural backgrounds from all regions of the world, the Declaration was proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in Paris on 10 December 1948 (General Assembly resolution 217 A) as a common standard of achievements for all peoples and all nations. It sets out, for the first time, fundamental human rights to be universally protected and it has been translated into over 500 languages.” Source: United Nations

At my website you will find a permalink to a list of the 30 basic Human Rights: regardless where you were born, how you are raised, your circumstances, etc., as a human being you automatically have these basic rights. I added this link to make sure all the Beautiful Souls who visit my site, will be reminded of the rights we have.

In this series, I will select some of those important rights and add my personal view. I would like to encourage you to look up our Human Rights, not to take these for granted or to misuse, but as a reminder we are all Human beings, Beautiful Souls and therefore we all matter.

In addition, I hope to inspire the writers and artists among us to also use this topic for an article, story, poem, photograph, paint or any other piece of art and help me and many Human Rights Organizations to spread this information of huge importance.

Article 19 ~ Freedom of Opinion and Information

“Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression;
this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and
to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media
and regardless of frontiers.”

My personal view:

What I love the most about the Internet and Social Media is the opportunity this has given us to connect with each other more easily. Communicate with, reach out to, support, acknowledge one and another. In addition, we can share information, gain and thus broaden our knowledge, express thoughts, beliefs and opinions.

Our world has in a way decreased by the digital highway; within seconds I can talk to someone at the other side of the globe. Nowadays, we have options like WordPress, Facebook, Twitter, etc. and if you like to write, it is very easy to express your opinion. As a reader, you can respond, share what your thoughts are on a topic. A terrific way to learn from your neighbors’ point of view.

We all matter, we all have the right to
Freedom of Opinion and Expression.

Somehow, however, I feel people forgot to stay decent, to treat each other with the respect we all deserve. I struggle myself regularly with writing a message in such way, I don’t impose my point of view and/or suggest my truth is the only truth. It may take a bit more time to share whatever I want to share, however, to me important enough and take that extra time.

Over the last years, I noticed an increase of articles in which an author writes something similar to this: “ I am who I am, it is my opinion, my blog and therefore, I write as I please”. If I would review my earlier articles, most likely I’ve written similar phrases too. According to the 19th Universal Human Right, well, you have every right to do so. My question is: 

Is it really necessary to come across so offensive?

Your truth doesn’t have to me mine (and vice versa), there are more ways to solve a problem, Rome wasn’t built in one day. Yes, ignorance, unfairness, and especially senseless violence are triggers for me too, to explode. That doesn’t give me (or you) the right to be rude, to be respect-less. Right?

When you feel the need to curse rising, take a deep breath and agree to disagree.

There are 30 Universal Human Rights documented, which apply to each and every one of us. Regardless our race, color, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. We are all born naked and even if you have in your eyes indisputable prove of your opinion, don’t disregard your neighbors point of view without taking his/her feelings into consideration.

There might be a perfectly sensible reason, why a person writes what he/she writes or responds the way he/she does. Especially at this magnificent invention as the Internet, choose your words carefully, because words do hurt more than sticks and stones.

This is the last article I created for my Universal Human Rights series in the hope you all, my dear neighbors, inform yourself (it is your right!) and others, educate yourself, reach out and connect with each other. Act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood, as written in Article 1 ~ Right to Equality.

Be kind to your neighbors, is all I am asking for. Well…and be respectful and decent too 😉 

Originally published Sep 2017. Updated and re-published July 2019.

Human Rights Library, University of Minnesota: http://hrlibrary.umn.edu/  
Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Universal_Declaration_of_Human_Rights
United Nations: http://www.un.org/en/universal-declaration-human-rights/index.html
Apartheid: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apartheid

Missed post 1 or 2 or 3 ? Read it HERE and HERE and HERE

Acknowledge ;-)

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21 Responses

  1. Thoughtful and stimulating post, Patty!
    I wish Human Rights apply somewhere in the world, for real. There is no place in this world where freedom of speech exists. Even in the so called land of freedom, being communist is illegal. The Americans persecuted and imprisoned all those with communist ideas in the 60s, after the Human Rightw were stablished.
    Closer to me, I´m used to hear spanish nazis and fascists say whatever bullshit they want as they ask our respect to their freedom of speech and way of thinking. These days, our politics want to forbid voting to protect democracy. That´s not freedom of speech, that´s neo-language in the purest orwellian definition!
    Being absolutely honest and sincere, we don´t respect Human Rights in Spain and nobody cares.
    Have a great week, dear!!
    Big hugs 🙂

    1. Hi dear David, thank you for connecting again 🙂
      I strongly believe, there doesn’t exist a right way, so far, when it comes to political currents or religion. Every opinion, believe has some kind of truth in it and negative ideas which could destruct us all.
      In stead of falling back to ‘old thoughts’, maybe we should start acknowledging the fact we are all individuals first and to get our noses in the same direction, the Universal Human Rights could be a good way to start.
      To me, it starts with you and me…as individuals take our responsibility, walk the talk as they say… in stead of complaining or even worse turning to violence to ‘get what we want’. Show our current leaders by giving them examples via our daily life, how we as unique individuals are kind to all our unique neighbors. That should not be so hard, as many think.
      A wonderful week for you too, David! XxX

      1. I think people give better example than politicians any day of the week. Anywhere in the world 🙂
        This being said, I have the impression the Human Rights were established as guidelines that all the goverments (and that´s the key) should respect and promote among their own citizens. As a matter of fact, all governments in the world violate these rights sistematically.
        Last years, we´ve seen all kind of protests all over the world. What did we get? Repression: police hitting protesters, more restrictive laws, etc, etc.
        I think people have no problem respecting the Human Rights, politicians and governments do. Show them the money and you can do anything you want 😉

        1. I don’t agree fully with you. Yes, there are politicians at the moment who seem to have forgotten about our Universal Human Rights, hence, the reason behind my little project here via the four articles.
          But most politicians are people like you and me, with an opinion and and idea how we could/should co-exist together. Who didn’t go for a government position for the money, but for a chance to implement their beliefs.
          However, we forgot to listen to each other, only focus at the negatives and miss all the positives governments, local authorities, police, fire-men still do on a daily bases.
          I refuse to believe all politicians, religious leaders, CEO’s, etc are corrupt. Sorry, just can’t. That is not being naif, that is just refusing to be influenced by people who only focus on the negatives. (Not suggesting you do, dear David! )
          I love these kinds of exchange of thoughts and that is the whole purpose behind my website…to get people thinking about what we are doing, why we are doing it 😉

          1. I don’t focus on the negative but I cannot see it. And I’m not saying that you don’t see it ?
            Obviously, I shouldn’t extend our local traits to the whole world, and I heartly hope what you say is true.
            Our president wrote a paper years ago for a Spanish think tank, where he stated that Spanish are not equal, the rich ones are meant to rule. That’s the “natural” way things should be.
            His political party is about to face a trail for crime organization, they have been stealing money for decades all over the country. The opposition, more of the same.
            I would not say I like to focus on the negative but it’s hard to find anything positive here ?

          2. Maybe sometimes it takes too long, for things to change for the better…like in Spain.
            Well, for one thing; you are there. That is already one human being in Spain who can make a difference, right?
            It is not necessary to be political active to help change our big Dreampack for the better 😉
            And I value our connection highly (and all other connections here via WordPress), it’s maybe small, but it is a start. Right?
            Big hug for you my dear neighbor and friend. XxX

          3. Haha! Local politicians asked me to not publicly my opinions or participate on the last local elections!
            On the other hand, they better don’t count on me!
            I write in English because I don’t even want to talk Spanish, or to other Spanish people. I’m done. And happier than ever, thanks to WP and people like you ? Small things are more important than we use to think ?
            Big hugs my friend!

          4. Really?! That is just despicable and very sad to read. I hope change will come soon in Spain.
            Now, don’t tell me all Spanish people are like that. I plan to visit Spain upcoming October, remember? Better not talk to the locals there then?
            Yes, exactly my point: create your own Dreampack and show by doing so, how our big Dreampack could be; a loving warm home with Beautiful Souls.

          5. Very true ? I have many disgusting episodes public and private with local politicians of every party. This only could mean… It’s me! So, I’m retired or something ?
            As a tourist you will enjoy our country very much. We like tourists and we treat them well. Just avoid questions about politics, and you’ll find a lovely country ?
            I think half of Spain want to convince the other half, instead of respect it, and find a way to live with it.

          6. Ha, isn’t that human nature? lol
            Anyways, looking forward to visit Spain.
            As always enjoyed connecting dear David. XxX

  2. Hi, Patty. Very good reminder, thanks for sharing it. The problem is (and therefore the human rights are even not legally binding) that there is no human rights system, there is only a capitalist economic system in which competition and venality are the dominating principles. I’m fine with competition as related to comparing people’s efforts, but where our rights are sold is that the world is taken and inherited going forward. People inevitably react to the environment/system, why I think rather than moralizing individuals; the system should be changed. Based on commons, all the people should own the earthly resources, and if the economic system were a co-operative one, then inequality wouldn’t be implemented so systematically in the economic education and life where few rich are protecting their privileges as it is the case now. I don’t say the human rights aren’t important; just there may be other levers to achieve human rights as well respectively even more effectively.

    1. Ah, the never ending ‘battle’ between capitalism and communism/social-democracy 😉
      I agree, we need a change. However, I don’t think any of the various political currents as we know them so far are a answer to come to a solution.
      I strongly believe in hierarchy, to prevent chaos. Yes, we should all have access to basic needs, but, for instance, money was invented for a valid reason.
      As individuals, we should take responsibility too and don’t just blame ‘our leaders’ if things don’t go ‘our’ way. Therefore, the Universal Human Rights should and could be a good starting point to get us all with our noses in the same direction. To me, if all of us followed these in the past, words like Apartheid, Racism, Nazi’s, etc wouldn’t even exist today. At the same time, we should also be realistic. We are human beings, unique individuals and so far, I haven’t come across any kind/form of religion or political current which is truly based on equality for all. Which leads me to think; maybe we should not try to base everything on equality, but acknowledge our differences, embrace those and respect we have different ideas/opinions and let each other just be. Does this sounds too simplistic? Maybe…Is that because it is, or is it, because we think it is impossible, where it might be possible?

      1. Hi, Patty. Thanks for your great answer!, and I hope it is OK to use the opportunity to reply:-).
        I’m not talking about communism at all. I’m talking about cooperativism. I agree with your points, BUT THERE IS A SOLUTION I THINK. We all appreciate democracy, no? Respectively we wouldn’t tolerate dictatorships anymore, right? However, at the workplace where we spend most/ a lot of time, we do exactly that. If we can organize states with millions of people democratically, it is also possible to organize a workplace of a couple of thousands of people democratically. If you speak about responsibility: Yes, let’s give all people a share and a vote at their workplace so that they become responsible (but let’s give them also the competency to be fair!). And yes, let’s hierarchically represent the workers by a competent management that is accountable to all the people/workers (instead of only towards the few investor shareholders who see profit maximization rather than employees benefit). Like we have politically elected executives and legislators, why not having representative democracy at the workplace? If somebody contributes a lot, he/she will get a higher salary, which however is determined by all the member workers democratically. So, there is no artificial equality, and individual differences in performance are accounted for. Such a cooperative system works as many (but compared to the whole economy still very few) co-ops proof. It would be a new situation if a majority of workplaces were organized the cooperative way. So, this option still has to be tried! I’m fighting for that as I see it as the best way to establish an equitable, sustainable, and feasible way to reorganize the economy. Cooperative values would change how we relate to each other also in general. It is the whole education, advertising, and fostering of endless greed that is heating up all the separating topics like racism, etc. Cooperative values educate for cooperation, inclusiveness, and care for the community instead.
        Actions follow words, so I’m currently initiating the Platform Cooperativism Japan (PCJ) Consortium to promote co-operative digital businesses:-). https://mathias-sager.com/category/growth-enablement/initiatives/products/

        1. Dear Mathias, as you know by now, I love these kinds of exchanges of thoughts 😉
          This platform sounds intriguing (visited the page and websites), but I have, so far, two questions:
          * What is the difference between this form of cooperation and labor/trade unions/employees councils?
          * I’ve read, if you want to contribute/be part of this cooperation, you will have to follow the rules…Is there room for debating/second guessing the rules?
          To give you an example; The Netherlands have a political party called Partij voor de Dieren (Party for Animals) and nowadays they give the impression you need to be a vegetarian (among other requirements) if you want to be actively involved. Well, I believe they do fantastic ‘things’ for animals and for humans, but due to that requirement, I won’t vote for them or join them.
          I hope you get my point.
          Still believe the Universal Human Rights are a good starting point, we have to re-start somewhere. I sincerely applaud you for taking action and not just ‘leave it’ by words.
          Thank you, as always, for taking the time to connect with me, highly appreciated! Looking forward to learn more about this new initiative PCC.

          1. Dear Patty. Thank you very much for your great reply. Super questions also!
            1) Unions actually should be (and are, as I believe) supportive of seeing workers being given ownership and democratic rights in an enterprise as it is their goal too to provide workers a voice towards their employer. However, there may be some competition for membership at times.
            2) The only “rule” about the PCJ is its vision/mission itself, which is to promote and support cooperative platforms. I think I know what you mean and I also think diversity, freedom of opinion, and flexibility is important. However, I concluded that it is not enough to just claim to be a social enterprise based on promising not doing evil, paying management well, and making some donations to the public while still being dictated by and reliable only to ultimately profit interested outside shareholders. The cooperative values and principles make sense, and they are increasingly flexible to arrange for different member classes, governance models, and non-profit and profitable businesses. Therefore, if somebody wants to support the Cooperativism idea, one should be able to commit to the cooperative legal (and therefore binding) form. The PCJ (membership) is about the willingness of consequently giving democratic ownership to workers and members. However, it is of course still possible to discuss and collaborate with anybody and any organization.
            And the PCJ is about digital businesses. The conventional cooperative movement already covers traditional industries.
            So, I think the PCJ situation is made clear already in the consortium’s name, unlike the animal party not saying anything about vegetarianism in its name:-).
            Hopefully, the Netherlands soon start a Platform Cooperativism Consortium too?!

          2. It sounds intriguing, but I really need to ‘dive’ into it more thoroughly. If I have more questions, I will send you a mail, ok?

          3. Hi, Patty. Of course, I “tested” the cooperative idea also from a couple of different perspectives before it was so clear to me. You can anytime contact me also per email. All the best!

  3. I like the idea we have basic rights, but I also recognize the fact that all it takes is someone with a willingness to oppress those rights… and that is where oppression starts. I hope we get to a day when EVERYONE has these basic rights!

    1. To me, to get there, starts with you and me, dear Jason. We can’t only put the finger at ‘our leaders’, we as individuals have to take our responsibility too.
      Thanks for visiting and connecting, dear Jason. Much appreciated. XxX

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