Give Freedom a Hand
Let Peace and Prosperity Ring Around the World
2048 is a plan to prevent wars, eliminate poverty and create the conditions for global sustainability by the time we celebrate the centennial of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, unanimously adopted in 1948 by all UN member countries.
2048 dispels myths, including a major misconception that peace and prosperity are hopelessly complicated and unattainable. In truth, both can be secured through the realization of five fundamental freedoms for everyone: freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom from want, freedom for the environment and freedom from fear. These basic freedoms establish a framework within which other rights can flourish.
The five fingers of our hand illustrate the possibilities, starting with the thumb. It looks different and stands out. It is strong. It represents freedom of speech, an idea that stands up to dishonesty and corruption.
With our index finger, we point and indicate direction. It represents freedom of religion. Each of us is free to choose our own way. Those that decide God is their guide are free to live their own relationship with God.
The middle finger, the longest, represents freedom from want—the long road of existence and the certainty that there’ll be food, water, education and health care for every one of us as we go along.
Next is the wedding ring finger for many of us, and a finger with a direct link to our nervous system for all of us. It represents freedom for the environment and for life. We all have a direct link to the Earth and the ecosystem of which we are a part. When the life of the Earth is spoiled, our lives are spoiled.
Finally, there is our little finger, the least imposing. It represents freedom from fear. It’s the “finale” of our hand, our reward. All the others lead to this one.
As we recount the five freedoms represented by our fingers, remember that we didn’t ask for that hand; we were born with it. Everyone was born with the right to all five freedoms. They are the essence of a good life for all, and in this way they are intertwined; the success of each bolsters the others.
As we learn our rights, we come to expect and demand them, with lasting results. They become our way of life.
Source: Adapted excerpt from 2048: Humanity’s Agreement to Live Together by Kirk Boyd. Used with permission of Berrett-Koehler Publishers. See the evolution of human rights at Tinyurl.com/HumanRightsTimeline.