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A testimonial by a member – We often hear about human rights principles, and come across several efforts made within society, to provide and protect these human rights. But we often fail to describe what it means to be human. It means to care; to have empathy and compassion. Tolerance and appreciation for one’s surroundings, is pivotal when creating a harmonious society. A human being views things through the lens of love and altruism, and helps create an environment that is free and inclusive.

To be a responsible human being, is to be aware. Plato said there is no greater evil than ignorance. A human being has the duty to stay informed and empower oneself with knowledge. It is to use one’s voice, and stand up for oneself, and for others. As humans, we have a duty to build on the work of our ancestors, and build a prosperous future for the generations to come. At its core, one needs to realize how our source of existence is the same, irrespective of any differences, social barriers, race, gender, or personal beliefs. The only way to truly create a world that embodies the essence of being human, is to work together towards this unified vision.

A great Sufi poet by the name of Saadi, penned the following lines of poetry about 800 years ago. Today, these words grace the headquarters of the United Nations.

Human beings are members of a whole,

in creation of one essence and soul.

If one member is afflicted with pain,

other members uneasy will remain.

If you have no sympathy for human pain,

the name of human being you cannot retain.