Governments enact laws to uphold ‘human rights’ because of the general idea that one’s rights need to be protected by an act of law. Laws can be deterrent to bad actions, to a degree, but laws can not force out the goodness in people. In the world today a lot of time and resources are spent in creating deterrents — more laws and more ammunition, rather than nurturing goodness. If human rights need to be preserved by an act of law, it is not a sign of a highly developed society. Laws must be viewed as a remedial step alone.
Human rights violations anywhere in the world is the result of a narrow and prejudiced mindset. A better way to guarantee human rights is to provide tools to replace this narrow mindset with a broad outlook towards life.
This broader outlook need to be nurtured with guidance in a supportive environment. We should shift our view point and say that access to peace and happiness within oneself is the most basic human right. Peace is present in seed form in everyone. It only needs some nourishment There are numerous cases of violent people becoming constructive citizens of mainstream society given the right environment to review their actions and the tools for self analysis.
Education need not be a successor to an act of crime. Children must be taught to cultivate the feeling that all cultures and religions of the world belongs to them, not just a part of it. No one can expect openness to suddenly appear when one becomes an adult citizen. It has to be consciously developed. Technology and new economic opportunities today force people from different cultures closer. Openness and acceptability are vital qualities. Success in business demands cross cultural teams understanding each other. A healthier society is one with harmony across cultural neighborhoods. Finding the connections between people irrespective of one’s cultural values is human values.
“If our legacy to the coming generations is a set of laws to run the world by, they will continue to fight over rights. But if we could show them the right values to live by, we will leave an inheritance they can cherish.” Sri Sri Ravishankar