Defining “Equal”

Defining “Equal”

The first article of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights begins by saying “We are all born free and equal in dignity and rights.” Beautiful words but what exactly is meant by ‘equal’? There are a few definitions for the word ‘equal’ so to find out, I decided to research what the main architect of the document, Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt, may have meant. What was the context in which the word was being used?

In one of her most famous quotes on human rights, Mrs. Roosevelt said:

“Where, after all, do universal human rights begin? In small places close to home, so close and so small that they cannot be seen on any map of the world. Yet they are the world of the individual person: the neighborhood he lives in; the school or college he attends; the factory, farm or office where he works. Such are the places where every man, woman and child seeks equal justice, equal opportunity, equal dignity without discrimination.”

Right there Mrs. Roosevelt spells out what is meant by ‘equal’. I think most people would agree that ALL people should be equal before the law, have equal opportunities for work and education and all people are worthy of honor and respect without discrimination. The definition of ‘equal’ in this context is without discrimination; unprejudiced; impartial. One person is not better than another because of the color of their skin or the religion they profess, or gender, or age, etc.

What it does not mean in this regard is all are equal (definition being same measure, quality or amount) in abilities, purposes, talent or personality as there are observable differences between people in these areas.

In the second article of the UDHR, the writers and UN General Assembly reinforce that “Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.”

If we feel the need to make a judgment on others, let’s judge their actions and contributions as that is the only true determinant of who they are. Are they mostly helping or harming? Do they usually lift people up or bring people down?

There is another quote by Mrs. Roosevelt that sums up this topic exquisitely:

“The important thing is neither your nationality nor the religion you professed, but how your faith translated itself in your life.”

Law and Order: The Rules of the Game

Law and Order: The Rules of the Game

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) contains 30 separate articles each addressing a specific right. This blog post focuses on Articles 6-11 which are all related to law and order. Law and order are necessary to keep a civilization running smoothly. This is similar to a game where each person needs to know and follow the rules or there really is no game, only chaos.

These six articles read as follows:

Article 6: “Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law¹.”

Article 7: “All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination³ to equal protection of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination in violation of this Declaration and against any incitement⁴ to such discrimination.”

Article 8: “Everyone has the right to an effective remedy by the competent national tribunals⁵ for acts violating the fundamental rights granted him by the constitution or by law.”

Article 9: “No one shall be subjected to arbitrary⁶ arrest, detention or exile⁷.”

Article 10: “Everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal, in the determination of his rights and obligations and of any criminal charge against him.”

Article 11: “(1) Everyone charged with a penal offence has the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law in a public trial at which he has had all the guarantees necessary for his defence. (2) No one shall be held guilty of any penal offence on account of any act or omission which did not constitute a penal offence, under national or international law, at the time when it was committed. Nor shall a heavier penalty be imposed than the one that was applicable at the time the penal offence was committed.”

It is important in any society that citizens know what is considered acceptable behavior. Laws communicate that. A good justice system ensures laws are followed by everyone. No one, including those in charge, is above the law. And if the laws are broken, a working justice system administers the appropriate penalty for the violation.

As stated above, a game with no rules or people not following the rules is chaos and if it is not fixed, will eventually result in no game at all. Hence the need for law and order in society without which will result in no society or civilization at all. It is so important that the writers of the Declaration included six articles on this topic.




Definitions from:


1  : a binding custom or practice of a community : a rule of conduct or action prescribed or formally recognized as binding or enforced by a controlling authority

²Law and Order

1  : the enactment of laws and their strict enforcement by police and the courts


  • : prejudiced or prejudicial outlook, action, or treatment

: the act, practice, or an instance of discriminating categorically rather than individually

  • : the quality or power of finely distinguishing

3    : the act of making or perceiving a difference : the act of discriminating


     : to move to action : stir up : spur on : urge on


  • : a court or forum of justice
  • : something that decides or determines


  • : existing or coming about seemingly at random or by chance or as a capricious and unreasonable act of will
  • : not restrained or limited in the exercise of power : ruling by absolute authority

: marked by or resulting from the unrestrained and often tyrannical exercise of power

  • law : depending on individual discretion (as of a judge) and not fixed by law


  • : to banish or expel from one’s country or home
Treat People with Kindness

Treat People with Kindness

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) contains 30 separate articles each addressing a specific right. This blog post focuses on Article 5 which reads: “No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.”

Again, for most human beings, it is crazy that this even has to be said. However, you can glance at news headlines nearly every day and find a story where this human right is violated somewhere in the world.

“A man arrested on suspicion of killing three people and wounding several others during a shooting at a shopping mall in Copenhagen, [Denmark] is being held in a psychiatric facility for 24 days, Danish police said on Monday. The 22-year-old Danish man was known to psychiatric professionals, police said earlier.”

“Highland Park, Ill – Police launched a massive manhunt Monday for a rooftop shooter after at least six people were killed and 24 more were injured at a July Fourth parade in an affluent Chicago suburb, authorities said.”

“Despite the many commitments and the various actions carried out over several years, the reality and the figures show that gender-based violence and harmful practices to girls, such as early or forced marriage, genital mutilation, economic explosion, servitude, force-feeding, alarmingly persist,” said Dr. Najat Maalla Majid.

“Beirut, 17 December 2021 – According to a new report from UNICEF, one in two children in Lebanon is at serious risk of physical, emotional, or sexual violence, as families struggle to cope with the country’s deepening crisis.”

Unfortunately, there are many forms of torture or cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment such as domestic violence, human trafficking, harmful drugging that deadens the spirit and can lead to addiction, dementia or violence; school and workplace bullying, mass shootings, electroshocking, elder abuse, and gender-based violence to name a few.

The question is, what can we do about it?

Every human being needs to know their 30 human rights so they can promote and protect these rights for themselves and others. If you see someone being treated poorly, report it to your local officials. In the USA, there is a National Hotline for reporting potential human trafficking at 1-888-373-7888. There is also a National Hotline for reporting Domestic Violence at 800-799-7233. If you or someone you know is in immediate danger, dial 911. There are websites to provide help for elder abuse. Schools and businesses have protocols for reporting bullying. Become familiar with these numbers, websites, and protocols so you can do your part to speak out and help yourself or another.

For a free online course to learn all 30 of your human rights, visit:


“The purpose of human life is to serve and to show compassion and the will to help others.”—Albert Schweitzer


Definitions from:
1  : the infliction of intense pain (as from burning, crushing or wounding) to punish, coerce, or
      afford sadistic pleasure
2  : something that causes agony or pain
    : anguish of body or mind : AGONY
3  : distortion or overrefinement of a meaning or an argument : STRAINING
1  : disposed to inflict pain or suffering : devoid of humane feelings
2  : causing or conducive to injury, grief or pain
    : unrelieved by leniency
  • : lacking pity, kindness or mercy : SAVAGE
: not worthy of or conforming to the needs of human beings
  • : of or suggesting a nonhuman class of beings
     : causing or associated with a low, destitute or demoralized state: causing someone to be
       or feel degraded
How Do We Gain Freedom for All?

How Do We Gain Freedom for All?

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) contains 30 separate articles each addressing a specific right. This blog will focus on Article 4 which reads: “No one shall be held in slavery¹ or servitude²; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms.”

This is a right that most people would say, of course, you should not hold another human being in slavery or servitude! And yet, some estimates suggest over 40,000,000 people are enslaved in the world today in either labor trafficking or sex trafficking. It is a difficult statistic to actually track since perpetrators are not voluntarily reporting it.

To really understand what human trafficking is, I’ve found it best to learn from some real-life stories. It is far more impactful and makes it more real than just seeing a statistic or number on a page.

To learn about sex trafficking, I highly recommend the book “I Am Not Your Slave” by Tupa Tjipombo and Chris Lockhart.

I Am Not Your Slave is the shocking true story of a young African girl, Tupa, who was abducted from southwestern Africa and funneled through an extensive yet almost completely unknown human trafficking network spanning the entire African continent. As she is transported from the point of her abduction on a remote farm near the Namibian-Angolan border and channeled to her ultimate destination in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, her three-year odyssey exposes the brutal horrors of a modern-day middle passage. During her ordeal, Tupa encounters members of Africa’s notorious gangs, terrifying witchdoctors, mysterious middlemen from China, corrupt police and border officials, Arab smugglers, and high-ranking United Nations officials. And of course, Tupa meets her fellow trafficking victims, young women and girls from around the world. Tupa’s harrowing experience, including her daring escape and eventual return home, sheds light on the most shocking aspects of modern-day slavery, as well as the essential determination to be free.”- Chris Lockhart

For education on labor trafficking, be on the lookout for a documentary that is currently in development titled, “To Be Free”.  The film shines a light on the pervasiveness of labor trafficking in the United States of America, how we can spot it in our neighborhoods, and the steps we can take to eradicate this form of modern-day slavery on a systemic level. You will hear the unbelievable story of Harold and Dancy D’Souza who endured more than 18 months of slavery in the state of Ohio. The film is produced and directed by Benjamin Ryan Nathan with Martin Sheen as Executive Producer. For more information on To Be Free and how to get involved, contact

If this particular human right is one you are passionate about, there is likely an organization near you that is doing something about it. I’ve come into contact with quite a few groups that are doing great work, such as:  Philadelphia Anti-Trafficking Coalition, Eyes Open International, Operation Underground Railroad, and Zoe Ministries-Delaware. I’m sure there are many organizations that would appreciate your help!

Something else for us to consider in regards to slavery pertains to Merriam-Webster’s second definition which reads, “submission to a dominating influence (slavery to a habit)”. How many people in our society are held in slavery to drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, sugar, junk food, or any bad habit they just can’t seem to stop? The numbers are probably very high. If we include people enslaved to harmful habits or emotions in the slavery statistic, I wonder how many people are actually free. Even more important, what can we do to help each other be free?

Remember, it is not enough to just know your human rights (although that is a good start); we need to get into action to protect these human rights for ourselves and others.

For a free online course to learn all 30 of your human rights, visit:


Definitions from:


1  : the practice of slaveholding

    : the state of a person who is held in forced servitude

    : a situation or practice in which people are entrapped (as by debt) and exploited

2  : submission to a dominating influence (slavery to a habit)



  • : a condition in which one lacks liberty especially to determine one’s course of action or way of life
  • : a right by which something (such as a piece of land) owned by one person is subject to a specified use or enjoyment by another
Right to Life, Liberty, and Security of Person

Right to Life, Liberty, and Security of Person

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) contains 30 separate articles each addressing a specific right. This blog will focus on Article 3 which reads: “Everyone has the right to life, liberty, and security of person.”

Current events would make it seem like this right does not exist at all, especially for civilians in Ukraine. The truth is this human right belongs to everyone. The problem is there are not enough people who know their rights so it is difficult for them to stand up for these rights for themselves or others.

The people in charge in Russia are currently violating nearly all 30 of the UDHR articles or human rights for civilians in Ukraine. How could that be? Well, there is something called mutually assured destruction (MAD)* that is keeping freedom-loving countries from stepping in to help.

Brad Schaeffer in an article on said, “We are barely on the other side of the divide of the dawn of the Nuclear Age…the greatest moral challenge humankind has ever had to confront. What do I mean by this? I am not convinced that humanity has developed the moral grounding to be the wise stewards of such awesome power. There are currently over 13,000 nuclear warheads dotting the planet, and I am disconcerted by the notion that no weapons system has ever been developed that was left unused…

The great promise governing these weapons of mass destruction is that MAD (mutually assured destruction) will keep any conflicts hemmed in and local, for the risks of nuclear war in which both parties are annihilated is seen by all sides as unacceptable.”

If we had an ideal culture and a high level of ethics on this planet, something like an atomic weapon would never have been dreamed of, let alone produced! Its only purpose is to destroy lots of life—humans, plants, animals–all life over a widespread area. This could take us into a whole other level of discussion but I believe the point is made.

A few years ago, I attended a gathering with local non-profits in the Philadelphia area. One of the Organization Leaders came to me and said, if you are serious about human rights then you need to talk about atomic weapons and their threat to human rights. At the time I thought it was extreme but now in 2022, we have a Head of State threatening the use of atomic weapons and other Heads of States hesitant to get involved because of MAD. It is all MAD!! We are talking about extinction-level destruction.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights came into existence as a result of the atrocities of the Nazis and the destruction of World War II. We need to learn from History! Let’s be sure to bring these human rights to life and prevent human rights violations and anything even close to World War III from happening. I guarantee YOU will come more to life as well.

We can create an ideal culture where all life thrives!

To learn your 30 human rights, take a free online course here:

March 1st is Zero Discrimination Day

March 1st is Zero Discrimination Day

Zero Discrimination Day is a day that is observed annually on March 1st. This holiday was created by the United Nations in 2014 to promote equality throughout the world.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) contains 30 separate articles each addressing a specific right. Article 2 addresses zero discrimination and reads: “Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.

Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional, or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing, or under any other limitation of sovereignty.”

No one should be discriminated against for any reason on any day. However, statistics show discrimination remains prevalent in many areas. When a person is discriminated against, he or she receives different treatment because of their category or group. The person is not seen based on individual merit but based on some category, class, or group bias.

According to a study by the National Bureau of Economic Research, job applicants with African American names have to apply to 50 percent more jobs to get a callback. According to the United States Sentencing Commission, Black men receive sentences that are on average 20 percent greater than white men for the same or similar crimes. source:

Stark gender disparities remain in economic and political realms. While there has been some progress over the decades, on average women in the labor market still earn 20 percent less than men globally. As of 2021, only 25 percent of all national parliamentarians were female, a slow rise from 11.3 percent in 1995. source:

The U.S. Department of Labor enforces roughly 180 laws designed to safeguard workers from discrimination and bias, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission facilitates additional layers of protection for the same purpose. Still, more than 1.8 million cases have been filed with the EEOC in the last two decades. There’s been no major decrease in the total number of discrimination complaints reported to the EEOC since 1997. source:

What can you do?

You can practice this particular human right in your daily life by treating all people with respect and dignity. File the appropriate reports if you observe discrimination in your workplace or groups.

And of course, know all 30 of your human rights and educate others to do the same. To get your free human rights educational materials visit:


Definitions from:

Declaration: the act of declaring; Announcement – a written or spoken statement that tells people about something

Distinction: the act of perceiving someone or something as being not the same and often treating as separate or different

Entitled: having a right to certain benefits or privileges

Everyone: every person, all

Jurisdictional: the authority of a sovereign power to govern or legislate

Rights: the power or privilege to which one is justly entitled

Sovereignty: a country’s independent authority and right to govern itself