Thursday, March 17, 2016


… when you die, you are grieved by all the atoms of which you were composed. They hung together for years, whether in sheets of skin or communities of spleen. With your death they do not die. Instead, they part ways, moving off in their separate directions, mourning the loss of a special time they shared together, haunted by the feeling that they were once playing parts in something larger than themselves, something that had its own life, something they can hardly put a finger on.
David Eagleman: Sum.

I have been going to see a counselor for two sessions now. I guess she is like a Life Coach, as I understand it.
Last week she gave me a writing assignment. I turned it in. She said "Keep writing" and I'm like, "Oh I do, I write pretty much every day". So after that second session, I got home and realized she had not given me an assignment for the next week. I texted her, and asked what my assignment would be.
"Keep writing" she said.
"Do you have a topic?" I asked.
As I waited for her reply, I thought about maybe I might write about death. I've had a lot of death in my life. She probably needs to know about all that. There is more death still, and some more close than I want it to be. But death comes, and to us all. I cried to think I might write about death, but then her text came back.
"Research, and write a summary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights".
I was relieved.
So here it is:

I can remember as a kid watching the movies Spartacus and  King of Kings.
It seems that there has always been two kinds of people; those with whips beating other people into some kind of submission, and those being beat into submission. Its been that way since the beginning of time, I guess. I sometimes wonder how long Man had been around before he figured out that he could dominate other folks in such a way as to take away their basic human rights.

If men have been around for 10,000 years, it sure took  a long time for them to finally come up with a document like Basic Human Rights, which was written and adopted in 1948. Due largely in response to the Holocaust, the world finally attempts to get its shit together as a whole. Two other documents that established a basis for the Universal Declaration of Human Rights are The Magna Carta and the United States Constitution and Declaration of Independence(just a guess).

The Preamble states its reason for existence: that most of the problems in the world start when  one group of humans seek  to control and take advantage of another, resulting in a loss of dignity, freedom and equality. The effect is always a decline in their standard of living leading to violence, suffering and great loss of life.
The preamble states its purpose; to establish a more verdant, just, and compassionate society within and between the nations, insuring peace and dignity for all the people.

The Articles establish certain principles; freedom, dignity, equality, and brotherhood. That these principles are extended to all humans regardless of religion, race, social class, personal or political opinions. It seeks to eliminate discrimination for simply being who you are.
In short, and in the words of the NA program, it seeks to establish a world of  “Principles Before Personalities”.
It abolishes anything that would interfere with the ends of these principles, such as slavery, torture, arbitrarily applied laws, denial of protection under the law, and restriction of the freedom to go anywhere of your own choosing under the law, and to have a safe place to live. It also assigns specifically certain social security’s such as the right to work with minimum standards towards hours and pay, the right to health care, the right of a free elementary education. In exchange for all this we have a responsibility to protect the rights and freedoms of other people.

When I feel myself  losing faith in the world, I turn to Spartacus, and King of Kings. I enjoy Peter Ustinov’s role as a slave buyer who eventually does the right thing, and his relationship with Charles Laughton, the kindly senator. I think I probably developed my attitude towards women from Spartacus’ pure and worshipful relationship with Virinia. Of course, everyone is moved by all of Spartacus friends when they stand up and claim to be Spartacus, even being crucified in his place, lining the Appian Way to Rome with their bodies.
In King of Kings, it is not turning water to wine, or walking on water, or even the resurrection of Christ that touches my soul. It’s when Jesus comes to John the Baptist in prison as a true friend would, and later sends a message that there has been none greater than John the Baptist, but that even the poorest is at least equal to John . Also the  part where Jesus is moving through the crowd and suddenly turns asking “Who touched my robe?” and a woman says “I did, in order that I might be healed.” And Jesus is moved by that.

It’s the Golden Rule, and the world isn’t such a bad place when you give it, and yourself, a chance.  

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