Recently my daughter and I were in the car listening to a song sung by a male vocalist. At one point the singer said: “Wearing a headband, waiting for the seven, but not the trip…”
The following conversation ensued…
“A boy with a headband??” she said.
“Why not?” I responded. “Probably he has long hair or maybe he believes it will make him look more handsome.” My daughter didn’t look completely convinced. “Just think of it like when you put on your earrings so that you look even more beautiful.” (As though that was even possible :))
“But I have never seen that before” she persisted.
“Well you are 6 years old, you will see lots of things that you haven´t seen yet.”
And that’s how we left it. But the overall focus of that conversation had been on the idea of differences. I could have answered in a disapproving or judgmental way. However, if I had replied in such a way, she would probably have a negative connotation of guys who like and want to wear headbands. And really…what would be the point of that?
Prejudice when fed can hurt many hearts, especially when it jeopardizes people’s basic human rights. Despite the fact that we are in the 21st century, we still have an incredible way to go in the fight against PREJUDICE.
In Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the following is stated:
“All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. Endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.”
Is it just my mind playing tricks on me or is there a huge gap between this article and the reality of today? The question really comes down to WHY STILL?????
Why is it that two women or two men still can’t get married and start a family anywhere and everywhere? Why are there still men abusing and killing women without proper retribution, especially if those women are their wives? Why is it that in so many parts of the world women are still considered the property of a man? Why do people with intellectual disabilities still struggle to ‘be allowed’ to have the same sort of opportunities in life that non –disabled citizens take for granted? Why do people still frown upon boys who play with dolls? Why is a man still ostracized for wearing a dress (or even a headband for that matter) if he so chooses? Why is the skin color still a discriminatory factor throughout the world? Why is there still a disproportionately lower pay rate for women who perform the same jobs as men?
Why are there still so many customs and norms deeply based in biases that stand far outside the realm of human dignity? Xenophobia, racism, homophobia, transphobia, etc. are still issues that challenge us every day for all the wrong reasons.
In his book, “Perfect Love, Imperfect Relationships Healing the Wound of the Heart” John Welwood explains one of the greatest, collective ‘wounds’ that exists in the world is that we feel that we are not loved as we are, and the problematic results of this can lead us to many other problems.
So what can we do to improve our world, our life and the lives of those around us? According to Welwood, we first must treat the wounds in our own hearts and only after that can we fully love and be loved.
It seems like a very beautiful and bright idea…that we actually have the power to change the whole world within each of us. Then what naturally would follow would be our ability to “… act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.“ After that, it would be easy to put Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights into practice.
We often forget that before what we are named, what we do, what we want, what we believe, we are Human. The thought of the movement “Love has no Labels” can illustrate what I mean:
Watch the video below. It’s worth it :)
By Claudia Branco (contributing writer and part of our LU team)