“I know my rights!”
This phrase is often uttered by individuals in liberty-threatening circumstances. Being human, we have a natural sense of what is right and wrong; not only because the law states so, but also by what is inculcated in us starting from a young age.
Then, what are these rights that we are keen on defending and why are they so important to us?
Echoing the words of Charles Dickens in a Tale of Two Cities,
“A wonderful fact to reflect upon is, that every human creature is constituted to be that profound secret and mystery to every other.”
Indeed, he makes an excellent observation. Each person is different from the other and so are their intentions. Without appropriate measures to direct our thoughts and actions, we would be living in a man-eat-man society, where Charles Darwin’s theory of Survival of the Fittest would apply and thrive.
Thus, the legal recognition and protection of human rights in the world makes it possible for persons to live and coexist in peace. This is through the declaration that we are all equal no matter what. A deeper understanding of the history behind the development of human rights will make this more intelligible.