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IT’S UP TO YOU AND ME

“The world is shit.”

A friend of mind told me that a while back, and I don’t blame him. The world really is messed up. It’s messed up because we mess it up. You and I, maybe more of You than I, but this is no time to apportion blame; let’s leave that to PDP and APC.

Today, 10th December is reserved as the World Human Rights day. Some of us are not aware it’s today. Don’t be too hard on yourself. I found out two days back. I then thought of my rights, what the heck are they? I don’t even know if I was taught that in school. The only one that came to my mind was – ‘The right to Life’. And I was not even too sure I was right. Do you then see where the problem is coming from? This world really is shit because we sometimes don’t know our rights and invariably how to relate with each other and our environment – fauna and flora.

I went searching. I should know my rights and I should try to get my neighbours to know theirs.

According to Universal Declaration of Human Rights, created by the United Nations in 1948, we have 30 (THIRTY) basic human rights. And they are:

  1. We are all free and equal
  2. Don’t discriminate
  3. The right to life (Phew, I was right)
  4. No slavery – past and present
  5. No torture
  6. We all have the same right to use the law
  7. We are all protected by the law
  8. Fair treatment by fair courts
  9. No unfair detainment
  10. The right to trail
  11. Innocent until proven guilty
  12. The right to privacy
  13. Freedom to move
  14. The right to asylum
  15. The right to a nationality
  16. Marriage and family
  17. Your own things
  18. Freedom of thought
  19. Free to say what you want
  20. Meet where you like (Right to join any group you want)
  21. The right to democracy
  22. The right to social security
  23. Workers right
  24. The right to play
  25. A bed and some food
  26. The right to education
  27. Right to culture and copyright (Copyright here referring to the protection of one’s artistic creations and writings)
  28. A free and fair world
  29. A duty to other people, protecting their rights and freedoms
  30. Nobody can take away these rights and freedoms from us.

There you have it – thirty basic rights of an individual human being. It all sounds like a distant utopia, right? In Nigeria, some or most of those rights don’t even apply. But ask yourself this, have you ever used one? Have you quoted one while being harassed or did you just pass that ‘egunje’ so you’ll be let go and your time not wasted? Did you know that house-help in your house has a right to be treated, not as a slave but, as one of your own?

Our rights start with you and me, not by saying, but by acting. We should try to treat our fellow human beings the right way, with dignity. You can be the exception.

Be the police official that refuses to demand bail money.

Be the Oga or Madam that treats your domestic staff right.

Be the diligent worker that does things right without cutting corners.

Be the compassionate soul that gives the beggar some bread and a warm spare blanket.

Be the one person that does not discriminate just because that lady finds herself attracted to the same sex.

Be the Christian that understands and accepts your neighbour’s right to be a Muslim and vice versa.

Be the one voice that demands a fair trial instead of a mob action.

Be the person that only sees the good in your neighbour.

In this world, we can be a lot of things. Why should it not be the good things? Look at those rights again; do they look religious to you? As a Christian, do they look like the things you’ll find in a Bible? Do they look like words Jesus would gladly speak? Yes, Yes and Yes. Why then do we seem to differentiate one from the other? Why then do we say one thing in our places of worship, things that sound exactly like those basic human rights, but then turn around to act differently? The answer lies within us. Look at those rights, learn them, act upon them and maybe – just maybe – we can get a little bit of our humanity back.

This world might be shit but it’s up to us to either marinade in its stink or turn it to manure and blossom.

Celebrate World Human Rights Day. Know your rights and live better.

Written by Anyibaba


About shakespeareanwalter

Walt Shakes(@Walt_Shakes) is an award-winning Nigerian writer, poet and veteran blogger. He is a lover of the written word. the faint whiff of nature, the flashing vista of movies, the warmth of companionship and the happy sound of laughter.

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18 comments

  1. Beautiful write up. Thanks for educating me on my rights. Please do a challenge with Walter!

    • Shuu? You want me to keep losing?

      • shakespeareanwalter

        Hahahahahahahaaa!!! Vic, you are relentless. Anyi, the challenge had been suggested on yesterday’s challenge post. I guess this one wants to see blood on MMS. 🙂

        • Oh darn, i did not get the opportunity to read the challenge of yesterday. I’ll do all that this evening but sadly won’t be able to vote. Biko where was this challenge suggested? FB or MMS?

  2. brilliant! Thanks for this.

  3. Wow…wonderful. To think that I don’t know I/we have these rights…thanks for a great write-up, permission to share please…

  4. The only right we really hv in Naija is d right 2shut up..cos if u dnt u’ll be silenced #if u get wat i mean

  5. Beautiful!!! And I am honoured to share my birthday with such a worthy cause!!!

  6. I just remembered the indomie song we do sing when we were kids “To me, to you, it up to us to make the world a better place. A place where we can stay, where we can live in peace and harmony” thanks anyibaba for educating us on our rights. As for the challenge thing eh, i still love my Mentor (Uncle Walter) i dont want to hear stories that touch o.

  7. some rights are invalid in this country though…JustSaying o

  8. Some beautifully, very hilarious masterpiece of a writing this is by golly! I opened up the link and the first thing that hit me and caught my eye was ‘this world is shit’! And I thought to myself, ‘is it just me or is this some sorta deja vu’? Cause I coulda sworn I KNEW who this author could possibly be! So then, I paused and scrolled down to unlock the mystery that’s the identity of the author and guess who and or what I found??? Anyibaba!!! Oh shocker! Or NOT! LMAO!

    And then I think to myself, ‘Jeez! He finally muscled up some ‘liquid’ courage to take a quantum leap outta the anonymous closet he’d otherwise been lingering in for far too long’! Wow! *Yinmu* ROTFLMAO!

    Thanks for bringing us up to speed ’bout our rights Anyi, I totally enjoyed reading this well concocted masterpiece! Perhaps a career as a very seasoned motivational speaker’s in the offing, no?! Soar on up buddy and let’s have some more if you will, while you’re at it! I’ll be sure to adhere to thy admonition and do my part as best I can, so help me God! Cheers! LOL

  9. Exercising most of these rights in Nigeria would get one a “solid right”; a human-right-stripping slap from a thick right hand I mean.

    Violation of the 30th right strikes out all the prior rights and that is like a normal thing, especially in this part of the globe.

    I like this. Thanks for sharing.

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