Human Rights plays a role in everyone’s life, but not everyone realizes it. It’s involved in every comment you make that includes someone different. Every near discriminatory “joke” you say. It affects people, even if it doesn’t affect you.

Human rights means being able to hold hands with the person you love and work where you’re qualified to work without your skin color or sexual orientation being the reason you can’t; it means having the right to be human, making choices and mistakes.

Every day I hear comments being made about this being “gay” and other comments about that being “retarded.” There are an estimated 1,019,729 words in the English language. What I don’t understand is why these words are chosen to describe something meager or something that lacks quality.

Society has gotten to the point where people think it doesn’t matter what they say, that they think their comments and hate don’t affect other people. Humans are often hurtful towards each other, but I believe we all were born with the innate feelings of compassion and love.

These days, I see parents showing their kids what to think instead of how to think. I see people not being able to marry someone they love because they are the same gender, even though it is acceptable to marry someone then divorce the next day. People say gays aren’t socially acceptable, but the thing is, slavery was once the norm. So what does that say about our community in Juneau?

I hear and see this type of thing every day; people being ignorant and neglecting the notion that all humans are equal. I wish I didn’t see bias and prejudice, but I do. I often witness people in Juneau, young and old, ignoring the fact that we’re the same. Humans aren’t born racist, homophobic, or sexist. We were born equal. So why is it that everyone is bent on believing that one life is less important than another? Why is it that a person high up in society can get away with something other people can’t? How is that equal? Why is one religion “correct” while a different one is frowned upon? What gives other people the right to decide who I want to be and what I want to do with my life?

I don’t believe in God, and I’m constantly being told that I’m locked out of Heaven for it. But who knows what happens after we’re done here? That’s right, no one. So I’m basically being held back by people who honestly don’t know any more than I do about it.

The right to be who we’re destined to be belongs to everyone, not just people who are favored or socially acceptable. I can look around and see a flawed humanity. My one hope is to see that change because we may be different on the outside, but we are all human. Nothing else should define us. Not race, sex, or sexual orientation. I’m a Human Being, I Own a Right.

How has human rights changed your life? Think about our rights from today and from 50 years ago. Compare and think of how it changed our nation. Human Rights plays an important role in my life because it allows me to live free and unworried. Having the right itself just makes me feel special. It’s like owning something that’s never going to be broken, stolen, or lost. It’s with you anywhere and anytime.

Education is most definitely a right. Anyone that would want to go to school should be allowed, not having to think about any barriers. There shouldn’t be a barrier in the first place anyway, school should always be affordable for anyone. I think education is a privilege, and it’s sad to think that a lot of the students, including me, don’t even value school at all. But there are probably thousands of other kids right now that are human and living in this world that want to be in school. But where is their right to be educated? Nowhere.

We shouldn’t be hearing and seeing torture at any time. No one has the right to torture any other human being! Back where I was from, I was told a story that one time a dad came home really drunk and was really upset about something. Of course he was probably not thinking right because he hit his son with a tube, not a plastic tube, but a heavy-metal tube. This kid was left with bruises all around his body. I felt terrible and heartbroken because it was sad enough to hear the story, but knowing that that dad is still living his life to the fullest is ridiculous! He should be in jail right now, feeling guilty of what he has done to his own son.

So overall what I’m trying to say is any human being should always be treated with respect, whether you like the person or not. Respect their own rights, and hopefully they’ll respect yours. Just like the saying, “treat others how you want to be treated”.