We have many reasons to celebrate this December, and high among them is our good fortune to live in a free and democratic country. For most of the world, the understanding that “all men are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights”* did not happen until December 10, 1948.
After the carnage of two world wars and the rise of two terrifying ideologies, the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which recognized as the “foundation of freedom” the “inherent dignity…of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family.” The United Nations understood that “disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind, and [that] the advent of a world in which human beings shall enjoy freedom of speech and belief and freedom from fear and want has been proclaimed as the highest aspiration of the common people.”**
We find in the ideals of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights the spirit of the holiday season and the hope for humankind. We wish everyone the happiest of holidays and a prosperous new year.
* “Preamble to the Declaration of Independence.” July 4, 1776. https://www.archives.gov/founding-docs/declaration. Accessed on 12.06.2021.
** “Universal Declaration of Human Rights” United Nations, December 10, 1948. human-rights. https://www.un.org/en/about-us/universal-declaration-of-human-rights. Accessed on 12.06.2021.