It goes without saying that we live in complicated and often confusing times. In order to make the wisest and most humane decisions possible, we need to have a clear vision of the common values that bind us together in human community.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is the most powerful statement I have found of the conditions necessary for all people to experience lives characterized by freedom, dignity, and justice. The UDHR is an internationally recognized document that was drafted in 1948 in the aftermath of World War II. It is a commitment to the rights we all have simply because we are human beings. These include such basic rights as the right to life, liberty, and security of person, the right to work, the right to education, the right to freedom of opinion and expression, and the right to an adequate standard of living.
I invite you to join me in my New Year’s resolution to read the UDHR at least once a week for the duration of 2013. It is only 30 articles long and can easily fit on two printed pages. The full text can be found at http://www.un.org/en/documents/udhr/index.shtml. I would also be happy to email anyone a PDF copy, as well as a couple of kid-friendly versions if you contact me at
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