Discrimination is absolutely an evil. Those whose minds are so distorted injure the lives of others as well as themselves. Attempting to locate the “roots” of one’s identity in a particular racial or ethnic group is an illusion. It is like a mirage in the desert. Such a sense of identity only heightens distinctions between self and others, and becomes an underlying cause of conflict and strife. What is needed today is a common sense of our deeper human identity that can be shared by all. When we change the way we see ourselves as human beings, everything will change.
Human history has long awaited the time when the energy of hope and creativity will arise from among the most downtrodden and oppressed. When people who have experienced such abuses become empowered and take their place at the heart of international society, and their welfare becomes the focus of new ideas and new thinking, our world will be immeasurably enriched―both in a material and a spiritual sense.
Human rights start with recognizing the importance of every individual. Peace starts from fostering friendship with others.
Human rights will only become truly universal and indivisible when they span the most basic, existential division―that of self and other. And this can only occur when both the right to and duty of humane treatment are observed, not in response to externally imposed norms, but through spontaneous action stemming from the naturally powerful desire to assist our fellows whose ability to live in a humane manner is under threat.
Human rights, democracy and peace are a single entity. When one disintegrates, they all disintegrate.
Our ability to respect others is the true mark of our humanity. Respect for other people is the essence of human rights.
People who trample on others’ rights, no matter how respectable they may seem, are merely barbarians. Respect for human rights is a barometer of civilization.
The champions of human rights inevitably face persecution from the entrenched authorities and the powers that be. This is a constant of history; it is inescapable. All victories for human rights have been won as the fruit of such struggles. Therefore, it is necessary to always view things from a long-range perspective. By so doing, one becomes able to perceive the essence of the matter, and to see the broad path to victory that lies ahead.
The real question is whether we look at people from the point of view of the state or of life itself. The “eyes of the state” are quick to reduce people to numbers and inanimate objects, enslaving human life to the interests of those in power. But the “eyes of life” look at each individual as precious, irreplaceable and unique.
To discriminate against others in any way is to discriminate against your own life.
True equality starts from the recognition that every person is unique―like the cherry, plum, peach and damson blossoms. Equality means that each person is able to fully manifest his or her individuality; and democracy should impartially give all people this opportunity.
When stones are cast at good people, when the rights of honest, hard-working people are trampled, we should be angry! When anyone anywhere around the world discriminates against another, we should burn with indignation! Raise your voices! Nothing suits the authorities better than the apathy of the people, than their feeling of powerlessness and their acceptance of violations of human rights.
You must not yoke yourself to nationality or to ethnicity. You are more than just your physical being. Do not regard yourself as a slave to your genes. Fundamentally, all human beings have limitless and immense potential.