This is my first post in Open Salon and it is in response to the thread that asked, “What would you lobby Obama for?” That’s a pretty easy answer for me; I would strongly encourage him to consider the effect every action he takes and every policy he enacts has on human rights. To me, when you consider everything through a lens that puts human rights at the top of one’s concerns and priorities, it goes a long way in solving a lot of the problems the world and the human race are encountering today. If we considered the rights of everyone in shaping our policies, we would stop starting illegal wars of aggression. We would stop needlessly polluting the air we all breathe and the water we all drink. We would be more active in trying to curtail climate change and finding renewable energy sources to ensure people’s homes did not end up under water and the lakes and rivers they depend on for survival didn’t dry up. We would allow people to love and marry who they want. We would not continue to create a lifestyle of extreme luxury for ourselves while people in other parts of the world lack basic needs such as food, water, clothing and shelter. We would make sure that everyone was provided for regardless of their social status or where they live. We would ensure that everyone got the basic healthcare and life-saving medications and therapies that everyone, not just the wealthy, is entitled to. We would stop thinking it’s okay to bomb the countryside of some country halfway around the world just because….well, it’s halfway around the world and out of sight, out of mind. We would not have a society that turns a blind eye to CEOs making tens or hundreds of millions of dollars while asking their lowly workers to take a pay cut. We would not condemn and attack those who are different from us, whether in race, ethnicity, nationality, religion, gender or sexual orientation.
In general, I believe we’d just be a nicer species when our concern for the well-being of our fellow humans, whether we know them or not, trumps any and all other concerns.
When we begin to consider the effects of our actions on everyone else, then we have truly evolved.
President Obama, good luck and please make human rights your top priority in everything you do.