The flipside of human rights is responsibilities

The acclaimed psychologist Carl Jung is known for formulating the idea of the shadow, the much less engaging a part of our character, which we frequently attempt to ignore or not work with. The shadow self is the darker facet of ourselves that we repress or ignore, however nonetheless drag behind us as invisible baggage in all the things we do. Jung hypothesised that in case you didn’t embrace the whole lot of your being, together with your shadow facet, you couldn’t dwell a full life with out limiting psychological bonds. 

It is not only our personalities which have a shadow facet, however our treasured set of human rights too. Like the shadow facet of our personalities, the shadow facet of human rights can’t be wished away, and if we ignore it, it’ll result in chaos. 

The shadow facet of human rights is the accountability that robotically accompanies our rights. Unless we train accountability whereas we dwell our lives and benefit from the privileges of our human rights, it results in chaos. 

Exercising any proper with out consideration of our tasks is more likely to infringe on different folks’s rights or be harmful. 

According to the South African Human Rights Commission, “rights come with responsibilities and no one is allowed to infringe on the rights of others.” However, the accountability shadow that robotically accompanies our rights usually tends to be ignored. People are very fast to complain or declare: “It is my right to …” But we not often see folks insisting “it is thus my responsibility to …” 

In brief, dwelling one’s rights with accountability means one ought to do lower than what you might have the best to do or be allowed to do, and greater than what you might be chargeable for or need to do. 

Understanding and acknowledgement of the symbiotic relationship and umbilical wire between human rights and tasks to dwell our lives totally and with out restriction should not new. 

In 2008, the Department of Basic Education launched a Bill of Responsibilities.  Acknowledging the indivisible relationship between rights and tasks, the invoice outlines the tasks that circulate from every of the rights enshrined in our Constitution. 

In its preamble, the invoice notes: “I accept the call to responsibility that comes with the many rights and freedoms that I have been privileged to inherit from the sacrifice and suffering of those who came before me. I appreciate that the rights enshrined in the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa are inseparable from my duties and responsibilities to others. Therefore I accept that with every right comes a set of responsibilities.” 

The Bill of Responsibilities is an insightful, considerate and sensible doc that outlines the tasks that correspond with every of the rights discovered within the Bill of Rights, in chapter two of the Constitution. For occasion, concerning one’s proper to human dignity, the invoice describes the accountability for guaranteeing the best to human dignity thus: “Treat people with reverence, respect and dignity, be kind, compassionate and sensitive to every human being, including greeting them warmly and speaking to them courteously.”

However, in some way the Bill of Responsibilities disappeared in obscurity to the extent that it’s largely forgotten. One not often hears about it or discuss it. Indeed, I can not bear in mind one occasion the place our political leaders referred to the invoice prior to now few years. 

We have fun Human Rights Day with none reference to the Bill of Responsibilities or any of the tasks that accompany human rights. Many individuals are not even conscious of the existence of the invoice. 

This unlucky state of affairs may need occurred as a result of the invoice was developed as “a guide for learners and schools” and a “bill of responsibilities for the youth of South Africa”. 

Starting with selling tasks at college stage is an honourable and worthy strategy, nevertheless it can not keep at college stage. The insights within the invoice and its subsequent name to obligation and motion are too necessary to not make rather more of it for all South Africans. Everybody ought to perceive and acknowledge the inseparable bond between our rights and our tasks and benefit from the privileges of their rights by exercising their duties and tasks to others. 

The time has come to acknowledge and work with the shadow facet of human rights in an effort to transfer past limiting bonds and to construct a brand new South Africa. Celebrating human rights is an empty, one-dimensional and superficial train with out combining it with reminding ourselves of the accompanying tasks. We ought to have fun Human Rights Day and the human rights that many fought so onerous for, however equally emphasise our human tasks as set out within the invoice throughout these celebrations. 

Let’s publicly promote the existence and content material of the forgotten 2008 Bill of Responsibilities to make it a widely known doc and use it as a guiding mild for what we do and the way we do it. 

Let the concluding sentences in invoice information our lives and the exercising of our human rights, each on a person and collective stage: “I accept the call of this Bill of Responsibilities, and commit to taking my rightful place as an active, responsible citizen of South Africa. By assuming these responsibilities I will contribute to building the kind of society which will make me proud to be a South African.”

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