October 5, 2021

You are special, you are worthy, you are amazing, you are powerful,…

From the day that you were born into this world, you were born with dignity, reason, conscience and the ability to make your own choices.

The fact that you are a human being also means that you were born with many inalienable rights. Rights which you have that should not be infringed upon, violated, discarded, or taken lightly without lawful justification.

It does not matter your skin color, race, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, nationality, ethnicity, religion, class, caste, occupation, language, education, political opinion, health status, marital status, parental status, age, disability and/or other status, you were born empowered with human rights. These rights should be respected by other persons. These rights should be respected by the State.

However, it is not just about you; in exercising your rights you should also ensure that your rights are reasonably balanced with the rights of other individuals and groups in society and that you do not unjustly violate, infringe upon or discard the rights of others.

Martin Luther Jr. King once said, ‘I have a dream!’.

All of us have beautiful dreams and I have dreams as well. Some of my dreams have already come true and other dreams I still wait upon to hopefully be fulfilled. I have a dream where everyone is treated with dignity and respect. This may seem impossible now to some, and some may even laugh. This may never even happen in my lifetime; however, this does not mean that myself or many others cannot dream or strive for society to be better.

Anything and everything will be impossible if we doubt our potential and allow the negative opinions of others and the difficult circumstances of this life to crush us. Moreover, anything and everything will be impossible if we are divided and do not work together towards making the world a better place. Once we believe and act on positive thinking, change can and will happen, and that is when we will be able to do what we once thought was impossible.

We do not live by ourselves or only for ourselves. We share this beautiful planet called earth, with others. Everything that we do impacts upon not only our lives but also the lives of others. I therefore believe that we should empower ourselves and empower others because when we do that, we help to make the world and St Vincent and the Grenadines a better place.

‘Empowerment!’ is a column in the Searchlight newspaper dedicated to educating others about human rights. Join me each week on ‘Empowerment!’ and let us empower ourselves and each other.

Author: Jeshua Bardoo is a Vincentian Barrister-at-law and Solicitor. He is also the President of Equal Rights, Access and Opportunities SVG Inc. He can be contacted via email at jeshuabardoo