Poverty and Plenty – Defining Human Rights

Published October 16, 2013 by Laura Crean Author



We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

—United States Declaration of Independence, 1776

Human Rights.  What Wikipedia has to say on the subject – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_rights

What are “Human Rights?”  And how do we as members of the Human race stand up for them?

Well when I decided to take part in this event today I had no idea what the official world view on Human Rights was.  So basically this is the core of it I think:-

In 1948 The United Nations General Assembly adopted the “Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR)”.  In the preamble to the declaration it says  “Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and ‘inalienable rights’ of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world”.


Article 55 of the United Nations Charter states that “the United Nations shall promote:

  1. .higher standards of living, full employment, and conditions of economic and social progress and development;
  2. solutions of international economic, social, health, and related problems; and international cultural and educational cooperation; and
  1. universal respect for, and observance of, human rights and fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language, or religion.

And article 56 says that “All Members pledge themselves to take joint and separate action in co-operation with the Organization for the achievement of the purposes set forth in Article 55.”  This constitutes a legal obligation for the members to enforce article 55.


In the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action, World Conference on Human Rights, 1993 it says, “All human rights are universal, indivisible and interdependent and interrelated. The international community must treat human rights globally in a fair and equal manner, on the same footing, and with the same emphasis. While the significance of national and regional particularities and various historical, cultural and religious backgrounds must be borne in mind, it is the duty of States, regardless of their political, economic and cultural systems, to promote and protect all human rights and fundamental freedoms.”


So what can I take away from all of these official declarations and conventions and charters?  Well I suppose it is that humanity inherently knows that it has a moral and social duty, stemming from different philosophical and religious viewpoints, to protect our fellow humans.  To make sure that our human family has an equal footing on this planet that we all share and call home so that we can thrive during our condition of the human experience.  We should all be allowed to strive for personal freedoms such as the right to be creative, reach our full potential and live in dignity.   However, sometimes as individuals we find ourselves on an unequal path.  A path full of obstacles and as much as we yearn to ‘thrive’ the conditions to do so are made almost impossible by the environment we find ourselves in.  People in poverty, caught up in war, famine, economic and environmental hardship just don’t have the ‘choice’ of starting on an even keel as much as they may wish for it; and for millions of people on this planet, a vast majority vulnerable women and children, just staying alive is the foremost thought in their minds.  Being able to take another breath, have another glass of water, one more mouthful of food, the ability to keep warm and safe – that is all – the very, very, fundamental basics for survival!

In my opinion not one human soul alive today on planet Earth should have to find themselves in that position – in a world where so many have millions of pounds or dollars in their bank accounts and buy ‘products’ of vanity – a bag for $10,000, a pair of shoes for $1000, a house to rattle around in for £20,000000 when there are children dying for the sake of a mouthful of water, some nourishing food!  It sickens me.  It scares me actually to think that so many are blind to the conditions their brothers and sisters on another continent are living in.

But at the end of the day whose job is it to help these people?  Who has the right to say one person’s fortune and hard earned money should go to helping a stranger in a foreign land?  These 2 individuals are not related, they have never met, and it’s not either of their faults that they were born in 2 different worlds, one in a world of plenty and one in a world of want!  And besides, what you have never seen or experienced has nothing to do with you – right?  I wonder how many if the shoe were on the other foot would be even contemplating such thoughts!

Humanity – an accidental biological entity thrown into the universal mix of atoms floating around in the void of existence which may or may not have been ’created’  for a purpose –  How far has it come?  Where is it going?  And what choices does it have in the now?

Human Rights?  How can we define or defend such a concept when we don’t even know how to define Humanity?



A Poem by Laura Crean

Energy, energy everywhere,

free for all to tap,

but most of the Earth is unaware

that few control the cap.

The Earth is just a “system”

that exists in an infinite loop,

nature has this shape as its totem

the micro and the macro too.

And yet my energy bills

continue to expand,

money into someone else’s tills

and constantly out of my hands…

What is the nature of the human experience?

What is life supposed to be?

Is it to strive for personal freedoms

such as the right to be creative, reach our full potential and live in dignity?

How can we preserve such a way of life

and still be free and sane

when corporations rule “the system”?

They seem to have everything to gain,

while reducing the human experience to commerce –

which can only lead to pain!

It seems that corporates run the world economy

through corruption and control,

they bribe our politicians –

but this is legal “lobbying” and “political gifts”

we all are told.

And the laws enforce this system

through misguided commercial red tape,

how can we change this polluted perception?

Humanity needs to re-evaluate!

Revolution can only come through evolution

in the consciousness of every heart,

we need transparent political systems

free from “division” and “corruption” for a  start.

The world needs to run in “truth” and “unity”

not “the system” versus life itself!

There are so many crimes against humanity

affecting our global health.

From food toxins and pollution

and wars and terrorists now running rife,

to genetically modified mutant crops – nice!

–       nobody knows what is safe to “consume”.

Then there are the crises with fuel and our water

and the ozone will be gone all too soon!

But the people are afraid to question authority

because their freedoms are already worn down,

“freedom of speech” is no longer policy

and will lead to the speaker becoming criminalized

by their government, state or crown.

The trouble is we can’t fix the problem

until we really know what the problem is

and so the world needs a brand new awareness

of the “programming” that gives power to this social disease.

But the truth is that this reality is but a reflection

of ourselves – each of us in turn

and the barriers are our own constructions

that we must remove if we are to learn

that freedom for the human experience

is through integrity and in respect,

integrity in each of our actions

and respect for ourselves – and not to neglect

to speak up and be a part of our community

because it’s not “the system” we all have to fight.

The doorway to human transformation

Is through forgiveness, compassion and Light!

Taken from my book ‘Vision – Space Between the Universes’ (Out now) – http://www.lulu.com/shop/laura-crean/vision-space-between-the-universes/paperback/product-21242382.html


12 comments on “Poverty and Plenty – Defining Human Rights

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