I just came across this list in one of my numerous notebooks. Unfortunately, I failed to add the source when I copied it into my book, so I apologise to the author, whoever he or she may be. It would appear that it comes from a book on ‘relationships’, of which there are many. Anyway, here it is…
“The right to goodwill from the other.
The right to emotional support.
The right to be heard by the other and to be responded to with courtesy.
The right to have your own view, even if your mate has a different view.
The right to have your feelings and experiences acknowledged as real.
The right to receive a sincere apology for any jokes you find offensive.
The right to clear and informative answers to questions that concern what is legitimately your business.
The right to live free from criticism and judgement.
The right to have your work and your interests spoken of with respect.
The right to encouragement.
The right to live free from emotional and physical threat.
The right to live free from angry outbursts and rage.
The right to be called by no name that devalues you.
The right to be respectfully asked rather than ordered.”
I would like to add that in claiming these rights, one must also accept the obligation to extend them to others. If we could manage such behaviour most of the time, we would go a long way towards countering the Dominator Culture that does so much damage to us, to society and to the Environment, which after all, is where we all live. Extend all those rights to the children in your care, and watch them bloom.
Wish I had known and understood all that forty years ago. Why don’t they teach it in school?!
At least this following list of Rights was given out to my middle son as a first -year Uni student. It’s been on the back of the toilet door for years, hopefully absorbed by osmosis…
“I claim the right…
1. to be treated with respect.
2. to have my own feelings and express them.
4. to be listened to and taken seriously.
5. to decide what is important to me.
6. to ask for what I want (others have the right to refuse).
7. to make mistakes and learn from them.
8. to control my own body.
9. to have some private place to call my own.
10. to take responsibility for my own choices, behaviour, thoughts and feelings.”
There is, of course, some overlap between these two lists, and the idea – and especially practice- of extending these rights to kids can be very challenging. How much leeway you can allow depends on the child’s age and abilities, but love and respect go a long way, and if you want to get them – first you give them out!
Peace and Love