We have talked a great deal about human rights in this A Voice of One Calling series. Human rights define what we are all entitled to—a life of equality, dignity, respect. A life that is free of discrimination. It’s how we should expect to be treated as a person.

In the last story we saw how Malala Yousafazi has been fighting from childhood on to make education for girls and women available in her country of Pakistan after the Taliban outlawed schools for girls. Human rights to education and gender equality were both being violated.  She risked her life to work for this cause, surviving an assassination attempt when she was 15. “My purpose is to serve humanity,” Malala once said in an interview.

Imagine being a child or a young woman, being refused the opportunity for an education. Imagine growing to adulthood not having learned the basics of reading and writing. How would it affect your life?

And looking at another of the many human rights violations: Imagine being a black person, not allowed the freedom of a white. Perhaps living as a slave, not allowed to be a person unto yourself—not allowed to live the free life others enjoy,

And, closer to home: Imagine if you were labelled with a mental illness, causing your community to look down on you, to shun you, to exclude you, to think the worst about you.

In addition, as such a person, not to be believed when you complain about being wronged by a person in authority. You may not be respected enough to receive the attention you deserve from those who should be able to defend you.

Who’s going to protect those children of God who are considered unworthy by society? Who’s going to speak for them? Who’s going to uphold the human rights they deserve, along with everyone else.

Who will stand up for them?

All the individuals we have featured so far in this series were ready to stand up and fight for some form of human rights violation. Their belief in fighting for what was right was so strong, they were ready to give their life to pursue it. With passion, they worked to make the world a better place for those whose rights were being denied.

This entire series, A Voice of One Calling, strives to encourage those who live with mental health challenges, and any other kind of challenges. So many live with low self-esteem, not recognizing that they have rights. But do they really need to live as second-class citizens?

Can reading about the spirit of the individuals featured in this series, make that spirit a part of your own?

I hope that you who have been reading will have been inspired by the individuals featured, and that you will follow the rest to come. I hope the stories of their lives will have instilled in you a strength and courage of your own.

You may have a lot more in you than you thought.

This has been Part 19 of A Voice of One Calling. Read Part 20 With Love and Humility