December 10 is annual celebration of human rights across the world. It began by the United Nations in 1948, shortly after World War II. I admit, I knew nothing about its existence until earlier today.
I started my day with #mymorningroutine which involves listening to a guided #meditation on the #dailycalm app. It was about #HumanRightsDay and discussed being appreciative of all the #humanrights we have.
This fed in nicely to my lesson in my ESL class today because many of the students have experienced times when they have had they are at risk of having their human rights violated. It opened up a dialogue about how even though we have the freedom to remove ourselves from a country where we are unsafe there is still a process to go through.
We discussed why human rights are important. (They give us freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and other freedoms that citizens in the US receive from the 1st Amendment).
The next step was for my two students to write a paragraph about why #HumanRights were important to them. They have very unique stories and they honed in on the right to be safe.
As about 15% of what I do at my day job is working with immigrants, I have learned the very painful stories that some of them have gone through to get here. I have seen their bodies get passionate as they discuss whether or not migrants should be allowed in to the United States. I've seen grown men shed tears because life got to be too much. I've seen those same men jump for joy when they are finally approved for work permits in the United States.
Through all of their stories, once they made it to the United States, they did not have to fight for their #HumanRights. Once they settled in Iowa, they felt safe, but they weren't always safe. They weren't always in situations where their #HumanRights were protected.
But I have been. My entire life I have lived in a society that granted me freedom of speech, petition, religion, assembly, and press. I don't often pause to be grateful for being born in the United States where my #HumanRights are guaranteed. But I really should - and so should everyone else that has never faced the persecution that some immigrants have.