Electronic Resource Centre for Human
It's About Me and Human Rights.
IT'S ABOUT ME
A STUDY MATERIAL FOR COMPULSORY SCHOOLS.
A textbook for an optional subject in grades 6 and 7 of general comprehensive schools.
JAAN TONISSON INSTITUTE
This textbook has been published within the joint project of cooperation between Netherlands Helsinki Committee and Jaan Tõnisson Institute and by the financial support of Dutch Foreign Ministry.
The following people have participated in the project as authors or consultants:
Layout: Marge Robam and Toomas Mägi
Translation into English : Urve Läänemets
(c) Jaan Tõnisson Institute 1997
Hello, dear friend!
This book you are holding in your hands now is about HUMAN RIGHTS, which in a way are dealing with you and me and with all people. Knowledge about human rights and their implementation is a characteristic of a developed society. It has been considered necessary to teach human rights to small children and adults almost everywhere in the world today. This textbook will help you to understand what human rights actually are, what are they threatened by and what could help to protect them.
We all are people and we live in different societies in various places of the world. We are of different ages and races, we have different habits, traditions and characters. And still, we are so similar to each other when we are sad and cry, or when we are glad and laugh. We feel equally proud when we have succeeded in doing something well and we feel miserable, when we make mistakes. We all want to be noticed and to be respected. We all - you, me and these children there - want to live happily and feel safe everywhere.
Human rights are there to offer everybody an opportunity to live with dignity.
The topics we are going to discuss in this book are maybe not very typical for everyday conversation. Maybe there are some things we have never been thinking about before. So let us try to study them together, to do something about them and maybe to try and change ourselves a little.
We hope this book will help us to reach a common understanding regarding many complicated issues.
Sincerely, the authors
Table of Contents:
You are unique. Nobody is exactly like you in this world. Not even the twins are absolutely similar or identical. You have your own name, your opinion, your personal things and your own personality - IT'S ME. You express your personality when you say" I want it this way. These thing belong to me. I like it. I think so."
This ME shows itself in different ways. Some speak in a very loud voice, probably thinking they would not be noticed otherwise. It demands attention. It believes strength is the only power. It gives orders, it tries to make other people look ridiculous, it always tries to make everybody accept its opinion. You must have noticed that loud voices make everybody speak louder and finally nobody can't hear anybody or understand what the talk is all about.
Another ME speaks in a low voice. It never tries to prove its existence to others. It wants to think, decide and act in its own way. It has time enough to listen to others. And that who listens that learns. This particular ME believes that independence and empathy are more important than to establish one's superiority.
There is always just one ME. One ME will notice another ME only when they listen to each other. The majority of people can speak well, but not everybody is able to listen to another person equally well. When people listen to each other a feeling of belonging develops and all different MEs become a new notion- WE.
We live in a family. We attend the same school and classes. Sometimes we go travelling and we see how people live elsewhere. Some things are really different abroad, but some are just the same as we have them every day. We may be different considering our ethnicity, language and habits but at the same time we all are similar to each other. We are people.
WE are never alone. However, it does not mean that we have to look exactly the same. The word WE denotes people, which are able to consider and care about each other. We live together, we work together and we study together - so we have to communicate with each other. It depends entirely on ourselves, how well we are getting on.
WE - it is a great strength and responsibility. The world will be exactly so good and safe to live in just as much we as we can understand and communicate with each other.
As you know there is a highway code, which sometimes allows us to use prior rights and sometimes makes us wait for the others to pass, and there are also rules and laws for communication. These teach us to notice and understand other people and to respect their dignity.
We learn how to communicate at home and at school. Any conflict or a quarrel between people could be compared to a traffic accident. But we can avoid accidents, if we know the rules of communication. The most general principles for that, which have been accepted by all people, are called human rights.
In this book we are going to talk about the rights of children, which is a part of
human rights. When children learn, how to accept the rights of each other, they will also
behave better towards other people when they have grown up. The basic principles of human
rights have been specified in the "Universal Declaration of Human Rights"
(adopted in 1948); the rights of children can be found in the "Declaration of the
Rights of the Child" (1959) and in the "Convention on the Rights of the
Maybe you came across some of the words and expressions on the previous pages which you cannot explain very exactly.
unique, rights, independence, to make other people accept one's opinion (to press one's opinion on other people), empathy, communication, safety, human rights, controversies, principles, similar.
Did you come across any unknown words? Which of them were difficult to explain in spite of the fact that you understand their meaning?
When people give the same word different meanings or do not understand them at all, several misunderstandings or conflicts may arise. First, we have to agree upon the meanings of the important concepts, which have been used in this book. Then we can also understand the human rights in the same and common way.
I. Choose together from the list above about 10 words and try to find a simple
explanation for them Write into your notebook the following:
II. Discuss and compare whether you understood the chosen words in the same way.
III. Try to reach an agreement about the meaning of these words.
When a child is born into this world, it is small and helpless. It cannot even survive without somebody's help. The happiest is the child, who can grow up at home where everybody loves him(her). But not all people are equally happy. Maybe there are some among your classmates who do not want to go home. In case the conditions at home are really bad and the welfare of a child becomes endangered, the state will interfere.
It is possible to get support from the state, if money problems are the only ones to be solved. There are several subsidies and discounts available for the families with many children (e.g. paid lunches at schools or in the kindergartens, travelling cards or theatre tickets at a discount price). It is much more difficult to solve the problem, if the parents do not care about their child. Quite often the main cause is alcohol, which makes people angry and aggressive. Alcohol addicts are actually seriously sick people, and they need special and expensive long-term treatment in a hospital. Although it is very expensive, most of the states try to take different measures and return children to a healthy normal family. In such extreme cases as violence or neglect and for health and safety reasons as well , sometimes the children and the parents must be separated from each other. There are orphanages available for those children and they are financed by the state, i.e. they are free of charge for children who really need them.
An orphanage is never the same as one's own home, so attempts are constantly being made in order to find new parents for those children there. They may succeed and find either foster parents or new parents, who will be ready to take the full legal responsibility and adopt the child. In both cases the interests of a child will be considered first. The process during which a child will be legally accepted into a new home, is called adoption. It really is a complicated procedure and the welfare of the child must be guaranteed first of all. A child cannot be adopted if his/her real parents are against it. The living conditions of a child must improve by adoption as compared to the previous state of things.
We are four in our family: mother, father, my small brother Ants and me. My father is a bus driver and my mother doesn't go to work at the moment, because Ants is only two years old. I go to school, I study in grade six. When I come home from school, my mom always has a hot lunch ready for me. The food prepared by my mom is a whole lot better than the lunches served at school canteen. Sometimes we cook the food together.
Father comes home usually between 7 and 8. Then he has a shower and a meal, then he looks through the papers and plays with Ants. The men always stick together and Ants is so small , there is really nothing to do with him at the moment.
On Sundays we sometimes go visiting or just go out to the countryside in our car. It is particularly interesting to go and visit granny and grandpa in the village.
We spend our summers usually at our grandparents and I like it very much there , especially when I can feed the hens and rabbits. My granny is very skilful at various handicrafts, she even has a weaving stool in the back room. And my grandpa was an agronomist before he retired.
They have a large fruit garden and also an orchard. We always bring a lot of fruit and vegetables to town in the autumn and my mom says, it is much better and cleaner, which you have grown them yourself.
Everybody in our family has to do one's duty, and we do it. Once I forgot to tidy up my room and then my father was very serious and said in a stern voice: " What kind of a woman are you going to be in the future. Look how much our mother has to take care of and she never forgets anything!"
There is never ever any shouting or quarrels in our family, but there is not much praise either. Mother and father are usually serious about everything and they always discuss together when they have to pay some bills or when they plan to buy something. Mom often says:" When I 'll be working again one day.....".
I like my home very much and I feel well and safe there and when I really need something I know where to turn to and where to get help. Still I wish that my parents could be more often happy and smile and that I could have a little bit more money to buy cassettes and some exciting magazines. MARI (12 YEARS OLD).
I cannot speak actually anything about family life. I am from an orphanage. We are 15 in our group and we are having quite good nurses here - we may call them aunt Hilda and aunt Martha. We get three meals a day and we get a lunch at school, too. We get clean clothes every Saturday and on weekends we visit the Zoo or the churches or just go and walk in the town. Then we come back and play games in our playroom. We have a library and a TV set. Last summer we got many new toys, they were sent to us from Sweden. Some of the toys are soft and cute, and there are some others you can really use for constructions of some kind. My friend Jüri keeps talking what kind of a house he would build and what it has been like in his real home, but he has never told anybody why he left it. Once he told me he would never want to go back there. And he always keeps a distance from people who wave their arms or when someone comes too close.
When we watch TV and see how children live in their homes with their parents and siblings then I sometimes very much want to be there. Jüri has told me it is much better to live in an orphanage than at home. I really don't know, but I would like to try it out one day, just to get the experience. JAAN (10 YEARS OLD)
We are five in our family: me, my brother Andres, father, mother and granny. Mother works in a library. Everything is more or less OK in our family but we all feel sorry for Andreas. When he was still quite young he had a very serious disease. After that he could not hear well any more and so is it has been until now. Mother is really sad and worried about it, because Andreas cannot hear cars in the street. Andreas must always stop at the corner of the street and look to the left and right to be quite sure there are no cars coming. And the cars do go fast!
And it is not so simple at home either. When mother calls us to the table, she has to do it in a loud voice :" Boys, come and have your meal!" Finally Andreas also hears it and comes to the kitchen.
When the children are playing outside, Andreas has to be extra careful again. He wants to rush and run, climb and do all the tricks other boys do. But when playing he cannot dash out into the street, because when other boys would shout "Stop!", he would not hear it well. He hears everything as if it were said in a most quiet way.
But many people like Andreas, because they have discovered that Andreas is a good chap and they do want to play with him. Sometimes they meet him at the bus stop, when he comes from school. "Hello, Andreas," they shout. "Hello, " Andreas replies and he is very happy when he understands what other boys have said. And Andreas can understand my talk anyway. MARTIN (11 YEARS OLD)
THINK ABOUT THESE PROBLEMS AND DISCUSS THEM WITH YOUR PEERS.
1. Compare your own family with examples presented in these stories.
When living in a family you cannot think about yourself only. We have to consider other members of the family as well. There are situations when we have to disregard our own wishes and do what is important for the whole family. In order to take decisions about such matters we have to discuss everything in the circle of the whole family. If these discussions do no take place, grave misunderstandings or even a quarrel may crop up.
It will be good and safe to live in the family, if all its members trust and support each other, do their duties and stick together.
What kind of rights and duties do you have in your family?
In addition to rules established in a family, there are also laws fixed on the state level regarding the family. The state protects and supports families, offering subsidies according to the economic situation for bringing up children, building homes and taking care of old people.
TASK: Read the following cases.
THE FIRST CASE.
A one-year -old toddler was brought into a police station. Her mother had left her with neighbours and promised to be back in a few days. A week passed, then another, but the child's mother did not come at all. The police found the mother, she had been drinking and roaming about. Nobody knew anything about the father of the child.
The child was taken to an orphanage, an institution financed by the state. When the mother of the child was ordered to come to the court session, she failed to appear. As it became clear that mother did not care about the child at all and has no intention to bring her up, the court decided to deprive her of parental rights.
Two years later a family adopted this child and now she has a home and belongs to a family.
THE SECOND CASE.
The three-year-old Nadya lived with her mother, who did not work anywhere and who liked to roam about. All of a sudden, mother disappeared entirely and the girl started to travel from one acquaintance to another, until she was taken to a hospital and from there into a support centre. Finally a letter came from Nadya's mother from Japan and she said that she would not come back to Estonia any more. Fortunately, there was a letter among the girl's belongings from Nadya's grandmother, who lived in Moscow. The social workers established contacts with Nadya's granny and helped the girl to reach Moscow as the granny had requested. Of course, it did take a long time and the efforts of many people, but at this moment Nadya is living in Moscow with her granny who cares about her and loves her.
You and many other children come to school every morning. Why has it been organised like this and why must all children attend school? And not only the children - the adult people have to do the same and learn.
Children will become citizens one day. It means that you have to grow up and learn. People have understood long time ago that it would be best to teach children at schools. Schools offer those subjects that people consider necessary for their future life. All the citizens and their children make up the population of a state. The state is successful and powerful only then when its people are wise and educated, happy and in good health.
In order to achieve the desired, we all have to learn. The children learn to distinguish between the good and the evil at home already, and they also learn how to behave themselves. There are rules in every family, which are compulsory to all its members. But you also have to know about the traditions and rules of behaviour in communicating with strangers.
When the people and those in power are of the same opinion, some customs may be declared laws. In earlier times, in parishes in Estonia, it was customary that the village people provided poor people and orphans with food and shelter. Today there is a special law on social welfare guarantees, which makes state institutions responsible for helping the poor and this law also gives them the right to apply for such kind of support. The same could be said about traditional celebration of St. John's day in Estonia- it is a holiday now and the national flags must be hoisted.
Laws will be issued not only for limitation or regulation of people's activities. Laws will be compiled also for governing or management of certain spheres of life. There are, for example the Law on Protection of Children and the Education Act, which also influence your life. Have you ever read those laws?
According to the Estonian Education Act, all children in normal health have to finish a 9 grade compulsory school. But it also means that all children are provided with the 9 year general education free of charge. It will be financed by the state. And it has also been fixed in the Estonian Education Act that the state has to organise work in a required number of schools, which guarantee access to compulsory education for everybody and the state has to check, what subjects and values are being taught at schools. Every child in Estonia has the right to get educated at an Estonian -medium school, but he may study at a school with some other language as medium of instruction. In many other countries children can enjoy similar rights, but not exactly everywhere. That is probably the reason why there is an idea expressed in the "Declaration of the Rights of the Children":
We study languages, math, geography history and many other subjects at school. But in addition to that, we also learn how to understand our rights and duties and how to consider other people who have their rights and duties, too. But we do not succeed in everything we begin with. Sometimes we fail and it may happen at school as well as in our everyday life in general. Sometimes we are given bad marks. Sometimes we quarrel. Sometimes children abuse their peers and sometimes students even fight seriously.
Sometimes misunderstandings crop up between the students and the teachers. Why does it happen? Sometimes students expect better marks than those that the teachers give them. The problems may arise, sometimes even conflicts may develop. Have you ever thought about the job of a teacher? What is your responsibility and what is that of the teachers? In order to become a teacher you have to learn a long time. Your teachers have studied not only the subjects they are teaching at school but also the art, how to organise learning. They have also studied, how to evaluate your achievement at school and how to do it in the most exact and fair way. They have their homework to do and prepare for the next day lessons just as you have to do it. Your teachers are responsible for your progress at school so that you really acquire the expected knowledge and skills by the end of a school class.
All people young as well as grown -ups should actually learn, how to behave in complicated situations. It means that we have to acquire skills of solving conflicts and alleviating tensions.
The best way for doing it is to discuss all problems with each other, to have the skills to listen to other people and the desire to reach some kind of an agreement.
In the sixth grade of a school in Estonia their was a 16- year- old boy, who terrorised other students every day and ignored the teachers. No talk had any effect on him. He continued abusing everybody. One day, when the headmaster had to interfere again in order to protect other students, his patience snapped and the shook the hooligan. The boy's mother initiated the court case. How should other students, their parents, the headmaster and other teachers act in a situation like that and make the hooligan to obey the orders?
Your teachers usually know a lot more than you do and they also have skills which you have to learn still. Their task is to help you at acquiring knowledge and to support your development in all possible ways. Accordingly, they have the right to give orders to you. It seems as if the teachers at school had more power than the students. Actually both have - the students and the teachers - equal human rights. Everybody can enjoy life at school then, when all the teachers and the students equally respect everybody's freedom and dignity, if they consider themselves equals as human beings. The best results, however, will be achieved in good cooperation.
LET'S DISCUSS TOGETHER:
Discuss how the following problems could be solved.
Add some more problems you have come across at your own school.
There is a saying: my home is my castle. We always expect to find support and protection at home, we all would like to feel snug and safe there. But is the home always able to provide protection and to be a castle in all possible situations?
TASK. Read about the following cases.
Can the members of the families manage on their own situations like those?
The Declaration of the Rights of the Child expresses the following idea:
All this cannot be provided by the family alone. The state offers support in those cases. Some states are rich in oil, gold or fertile soil. Some other countries have not been so well provided by nature. But the greatest treasure of any country are its people. The state should take some kind of care so that the population does not decrease. When there are too few children born today, in a number of years we may have a lack of labour power. In such cases we have to invite people from other countries to work here. And in this way , over the years, the state and its people may change greatly.
Accordingly, any state has reason enough to care about its citizens. A lot will depend on you as well - do you always do your homework, do you always remember to brush your teeth, do you prefer to play ball yourself or to watch it over TV? But the contribution of a state is also significant. It seems quite normal nowadays that we go and check our health at the doctors' or we get some kind of treatment.. The smaller the child the more often his/her condition of health must be checked, because the first two years of life are most critical for all children. Any treatment offered in time helps a quick recovery. The state also provides children with education. Only those states where all people receive a good and modern education, can become successful nowadays.
The Republic of Estonia is your homeland. In 1991 it regained its independence. Estonia became the member of the United Nations Organisation in the same year. It means that Estonia wants to be a democratic country, where human rights of all people are protected. The state will guarantee these rights by its constitution or the basic law. It is the most important law in the country and all other legislative acts must be in accordance with that.
The constitution and other laws of every democratic country must meet the principles of human rights acknowledged all over the world. For example, the constitution of Estonia says:
Children are all young people under 18. If you want to know what your rights are in the Republic of Estonia, read the Act on Protection of Children. The main articles of this act follow the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Children in Estonia have the right to:
The problems of children are usually solved by the officials from the Ministry of Education , from the Ministry of Social Welfare and from local departments of social maintenance. In 1988 two important organisations were established: Estonian Union For Protection of Children and Estonian Foundation of Children.
Although children have very many rights, not everything can be permitted. With using your own rights you must not violate rights of other people or harm them in any way.
The rights are always accompanied by duties and responsibilities. Actually, there cannot be any rights without duties. For example:
You come across various rights and duties at school. Any school is a mini- society of its kind, where there are similar rules to those in a state. You have to respect your peers at school as they have to respect your rights and dignity. What is your opinion about the following cases?
1.Mati is the editor of the school newspaper. He quarrelled with his friend Jüri
and published a slanderous article about him. Jüri's parents demanded the newspaper to be
closed. Who is responsible for all this?
2.The boys had taken their water pistols to school and many of their peers got wet. The teachers organised a search in the classroom and wanted to take the pistols away. Some of the boys gave the toys away voluntarily, some disobeyed. Some of the boys and their schoolbags were searched. Did the teachers act correctly? What other solutions could have been found?
Have you ever thought that all life is based on doing one' s duty? There are different duties - some of them pleasant and some unpleasant- and they all have to be done. What would happen, if a doctor would refuse to treat a patient for some kind of a reason? There are duties which have to be done as a part of your job, so -called job related tasks. However, there are many situations where you have to take the responsibility to do something on your own initiative. Have you ever had a feeling that you have to do something yourself, without being told or ordered by anybody? Can you give us some examples? Have you ever experienced somebody not doing his /her duty with regard to you and your expectations?
So far we have been talking in this booklet about the specified rules we have to follow at home, at school and in society. But when you have to communicate with people from other countries, you have to know about their customs and traditions. The world is really diverse- many people live in totally different economic and geographical conditions than we do.
However, the majority of the countries in the world can be characterised by one common feature nowadays - they all try to respect the principles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The basic human rights - the right to life, the right to be free and to be treated with respect - should be practised in all the countries irrespective of their being poor or rich, democratic or autocratic.
People started to talk about human rights after World War II. Soon after that, in 1948, the UNO adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The war had brought hunger and poverty to millions of people, it deprived them of the rights to attend school, and to earn their living with peaceful work. But the war made problematic also the most important human right - the right to life. When the war was over the recently established peace seemed fragile and vulnerable. So the states of the world decided to establish for the protection of human and dignified life an organisation - the United Nations Organisation (UNO).
Every country has its problems and peculiarities. We may even consider some of these unbelievable. In many regions of the world, for example Asia, it is quite common that children may be illegally separated from their parents. Children are sold and they are sent to forced labour. Quite often children are sold from one country to another, which makes it really difficult for the government of one country to fight against it. This is the main reason why the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child has banned any business deals with purchasing children and their forced labour. About two hundred states have joined this convention and they have to obey it and protects the rights of all children in their countries.
Our children have got used to attending school every day, but it is not the case everywhere. There are Masai people in Africa, who live according to weather conditions and so they travel from place to place all the time with their herds. So it is just not possible to establish permanent schools where the children could go every morning. And their economic situation is also difficult. Quite often Masai children get a glass of milk in the morning and it has to last for the day. Being constantly hungry, a child has no strength to go to school, to learn there all day, to come back in the afternoon or to do their homework for the next day after that.
And in those countries, where war is going on, the children cannot attend school in a normal way. More often they have to leave their homes and live as refugees.
Richer countries like Sweden or Finland take really good care of their children - and if there is no other way out, children are taken to school and back home in a taxi. Children are also provided with school lunches and many study aids by the state free of charge.
There are countries in the world, where people are punished for their religion, ideas or for what they say. Usually publishing of certain books and newspapers as well as films or radio programs may be banned. In some countries people are not allowed to speak in their mother tongue or use it for their studies.
What threatens human and dignified life in the world today? How could we diminish those threats?
Although people have managed to avoid the breaking out of a new world war, there is some war going on in different places of the world even today. Quite recently there was even a long war in Europe - on the Balkan peninsula. The government at war usually cannot end it without making concessions. ( Probably you have noticed that when quarrelling with friends; if you want to make up, both sides have to make concessions.) Conflicts between the states are often solved with the help of other countries or international organisations. It is easier for them to evaluate the arguments of both militant sides from a neutral position and propose acceptable solutions. During peace talks and immediately after the peace has been established, UN peace forces may be invited to stay in the region. Soldiers and officers from different member states of the UN belong to these troops and their task is to keep both sides apart and to try to avoid the new fights. Blue helmets of these soldiers have also provided the name for these troops. There are also Estonian soldiers among the "blue helmets" and they all have received special training. To keep peace- this is the task of all the countries of the world.
It is morning in Estonia. An ordinary child wakes up.
It is morning in Africa. An ordinary child wakes up.
It is morning in Sweden. An ordinary child wakes up.
It is morning in one of the states where war is going on. An ordinary child wakes up.
Make a summary after you have compared the stories. Exchange your ideas with your deskmate or in the groups of three or four about what you had written.
The fact that there is no war going on at the moment does not guarantee a good life. Only the progressing economy can offer people employment, food, clothes and everything else needed in our everyday life. The government and the people have to work so that there is be enough money for schools, hospitals, dwelling houses and roads. An impressive hospital or a schoolhouse becomes worthless, if there are no qualified doctors or good teachers, equipped with modern technology, working there. Medical help as well as education should be equally accessible to all- to the rich and to the poor. It is one of the most important tasks of the state to provide its people with those services.
Everybody has the right to live in a clean and healthy environment. We all want our children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren to have a good life. That is the reason why we have to be so careful about the nature around us. Welfare of people today must neither damage nature in any way nor pollute the environment and make it unsuitable for living. The state will spend big sums of money for cleaning polluted water, for planting trees in the territories of old mines, and for checking the ecological conditions in factories. We also have to use fertilisers and pesticides sensibly. Everybody must be very careful about one's activities as not to damage nature in the slightest way.
As you see, the state has to take steps in order to guarantee everybody's right to life. The majority of countries has taken this responsibility very seriously, but poverty is often the cause which does not allow good intentions to be put into practice. In the poorest countries, the income per person does not exceed 1000 Estonian crowns per year. It is very difficult to manage with this money. The UNO tries to help developing people fighting with poverty, suffering from natural disasters or exhausting civil wars. The highly developed democratic states also support those countries. They send there humanitarian aid, their counsellors, doctors, teachers or engineers. Poverty is a problem common to the whole world.
Feeling of pain is the mark of lurking danger. An injured person feels pain. The child who has not been properly fed for weeks feels a different kind of pain. The person suffering from an insult feels pain in the soul. We do not always realize that we have hurt someone. One day some of your peers, who has been insulted and humiliated too long may discover that life is not worth living at all...
We have discussed together several themes and problems from real life. We hope that this small booklet has directed you to observe yourself and your behaviour more carefully. Hopefully you have understood that you are unique as are all those other children around you. But in spite of all our differences we have very much in common. We have a common wish to live happily and peacefully with our friends , with mutual love and respect, in the conditions of spiritual and material welfare.
But as you know, there are always both sides present in the life- the good and the evil. And a person must constantly keep thinking about, how to behave in different situations. It is not always easy to find perfect solutions. We all want to use our rights, but other people want to do just the same. So we have to try and find some way of acting somewhere in the middle of the road, which could be acceptable to me, to you and to all other participants. We have to respect our rights and those of the others, then we have less quarrels and conflicts.
We have to learn all our lives, starting from very early childhood, how to be on good terms with other people, how to do our duties and how to use our rights. We also discussed some of the laws, which regulate our lives, but there are other cases in life where no laws can be applied and we have to decide for ourselves, according to our own conscience, how to act correctly.
Think well before you act, so that you will not hurt anybody, not abuse anybody and not live at anyone else's expense. When going to school, try to become as clever as possible, so you can become useful to other people, too. Don't ever do anything to others which you do not wish to be done to yourself. Then everybody would live better.
People are happy then, when they have everything they need for their life - a safe home, good food and clothing. But it is also important to feel respected and needed.. People who live for themselves only, considering their own needs only, remain alone as beasts in their dens. But people are destined to communicate with other people and the nature.
Be caring about other people. Maybe you will be able to help somebody. A kind word
uttered at the right moment or a good deed may change the whole life of a person. So let
us walk around with open eyes. At home, at school and everywhere there are many
opportunities to offer your help. Then you can also expect to be helped by someone when
you might need it.
Good luck to you!
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