A Declaration of Human Obligations and Rights

“The source of human rights is the endowment of qualities, virtues and powers which God has bestowed upon mankind without discrimination of sex, race, creed or nationality. To fulfill the possibilities of this divine endowment is the purpose of human existence,” begins a Baha’i statement presented to the first session of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights at Lake Success, NY in February 1947.

“Human rights can be established in terms of social status when members of the community realize that the gift of life and conscious being obligates us to meet responsibilities owed to God, to society and to self. Mutual recognition by members of any community of the truth that our lives all emanate from one and the same universal Source enables us to maintain ordered relationships in a common social body.

“No social body, whatever its form, has power to maintain essential human rights for persons who have repudiated their moral obligation and abandoned the divine endowment distinguishing man from beast.”

We can go no farther without referring to the worsening plight of today’s free society in which anything goes uncensored and uncontrolled in the continuous revolutionizing of today’s social media. It’s considered “freedom of speech.” I find it hard to believe that our founding fathers had this in mind when framing the Bill of Rights of our U.S. Constitution. Although defined as “power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint, it seems there was no remote conception at that time that it would be taken to such extremes as to remove all models of decency, modesty, dignity and rationale that distinguishes man from beast. Most pathetic is the unleashed “freedom” of children who are far from ready to handle with too few models of distinction.

Civil definitions of political and economic status, if devoid of moral value and influence, are not equivalent to essential human rights but express the expedients of partisan policy. “An ordered society can only be maintained by moral beings,” the declaration asserts. “Man’s divine endowment binds the individual to evolving and maturing humanity. The human race is subject to a principle of progressive development operating beyond human will. No age repeats the conditions of any other. The evolution evident in civilization results from spiritual evolution acting through mankind. As new qualities unfold a larger area of ordered relationships can be established, requiring changes in the social structure…”

The clamor for human rights has ever been and continues to be raised throughout this nation and abroad. But how frequently do we first consider our personal obligation toward or associated with its fruition. How broad and crowded the pathways tread by those who make demands of others. How narrow and lonely the paths of humility and servitude, “the highest form of worship” to the One Who provides.

“Guidance hath ever been given by words and now it must be given by deeds! Were man to appreciate the greatness of his station and loftiness of his destiny he would manifest naught save godly character and pure deeds…” which in itself will distinguish us from others and promote the betterment of the world!