Universal Empathy: Promising Solution

Need to develop universal human rights respect and empathy can be a promising solution to the growing oppression around the world.

Historically many oppressor governments and regimes used foreigners as soldiers to implement so called security rules, to torture in prisons, to investigate antigovernment movements and more. Moreover, they use foreigners as labor forces, as it is usual in most Gulf countries, for examples:

  • Bahraini inmates have always complained that their guards do not speak and understand Arabic and therefore could not response to their needs,
  • In the unrest of Iran during 2009/10 election , protestors stated the government used Lebanese soldiers to suppress them,
  • Pakistani forces are used in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain to fight with pro-democracy protestors,
  • In the conflict of Syria people from all nationalities are fighting pro and against government.

And the list goes on and on.

Relying on forces from outside is a politically important strategy by countries with most human rights violations. This strategy factors out the important element of mercy and empathy among people who share same ethnicity or nationality. Soldiers who do not understand the language of the protestors do not understand the rationale behind the protest, cannot understand the prisoner when he/she is starting to be innocent, cannot respond to the medical need of the inmate after torture and so on. Besides using foreigners as forces, these governments use foreigners as labor force in order to avoid labor unrest that could impact the economy of the country.

Countries with dependency on foreign labor and political forces such as Bahrain lessen their natives’ role in political and structure of their country which is a clear violation to the basic rights of the people.

Now that governments “use/abuse” people against their fellow human beings, it is up to us, as citizens of one world, to stand up and develop universal empathy toward each other especially when we do not share same background, ethnicity and faith.

The belief that governments and authorities are the most powerful forces to change the world is a myth, at least to me as a human rights activist. Most of the times, in order to spread peace and freedom we do not need to follow governments because they have their own political agendas, but we need to follow our hearts. After all we are all citizen on one world and we all have empathy towards each other.

When we empathize we become the most powerful force that can spread peace and freedom.

 Hawraa Zakery, Human Rights Researcher           on April 8/2014

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