D H Lawrence once wrote: "A bird can fall frozen to the ground without ever once having felt sorry for itself".
It is important to acknowledge that misfortune happens to all creatures, including humans. Rights do not protect us from misfortune. We do not have the right not to be struck by lightning.
So what are rights? I hear of animal rights but does that mean the gazelle has the right not to be eaten by the lion? Does the lion have the right to eat the gazelle? Animals do not afford one another rights. This is something exclusive to humans.
Rights are not defined by nature but by Mankind and they exist for one purpose only: to protect from abuses by Mankind. We have the right not to be beaten up by another person because common law (which we have invented) defines this right. We do not have a right not to be mauled by a tiger because tigers to not live in accordance to rights.
We have had to invent rights because we, alone in the animal kingdom, have the inclination to torture, imprison, deprive of basic needs and impose penalties.
The way forward is not to increase or strengthen rights against abuses but to decrease and diminish our inclination to commit abuses. Laws will not achieve this. Education will.
We live in a society in which the concept of power is the keystone. But this concept is an illusion. It is an illusion that, for all its abuses, has served us hitherto and brought us to this stage in our social evolution. But it is now redundant.
As long as it is acknowledged that one person can have power over another, abuses will continue. Rights will be defined by laws... and abused by governments.
Education can spread the understanding that everyone's experience of life can be enhanced by surrendering the concept of power. The soldier who enforces oppression by gunpoint is not the one in control. He (or she) has nothing to gain but the approval of those who have no more interest in the soldiers welfare than that of those they oppress. The soldier acts on orders and, as such, is as oppressed as the victims.
Only education will show that the soldier's life would be improved by putting down the weapons and defying commands that conflict with our natural sense of justice and desire for peace. Even those who give the command; those in the illusory position of power, have more to gain by relinquishing their power than by hanging on to it. They simply do not know this because they are asleep. They are also on their knees, just as the soldier is on his knees in fear of his commanders and the oppressed are on their knees in fear of the soldiers. The commanders are on their knees in fear of losing control.
It is time to stand up. Not stand up and fight but stand up and refuse to fight. It is time to see what we have and how close we are getting to destroying everything. It is time to wake up. It is time to stop being afraid.
Laws will not achieve this.
Education and communication will.