Living a privileged life has left me blind to the people living places where they do not have the right to my privileged life. I take for granted so many things that people in other places of the world potentially face capital punishment for.
Things like my freedom of expression. My right to express my opinions. Like this blog. Things like my right to have my own opinions. My right to believe what I want to believe without reprimandations. These rights are directly related to who this post is about.
There are countless other rights and freedoms, outlined in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, that I have and take for granted because I haven’t lived without them since moving to Canada (which was nearly a decade ago). I haven’t had to live without them while growing into adolescence, which is when I would have felt their loss.
Unfortunately, the truth of the matter is that there are many parts of the world where people do not share my rights. Some of them don’t realize they do not share my freedom, and others condemn my country for giving them to me. But this post is not about how privileged I am. It is not about how ignorant I have been (which is very). This post is about an extraordinary man who knows about and believes in these freedoms, which he does not receive in his country. Now, I would write a post about Raif Badawi, but I cannot do it as well as Mark Aldrich has already done. So I will link his post about it here:
I have only recently become aware of this specific situation (I did mention I was ignorant…). My shock at hearing that a man was arrested, charged, jailed and faces not only cruel punishment but also an enormous fine for doing nothing but posting his views on a blog is indescribable. I suppose in some deep recess of my mind I knew this happened in the world, but to read about an actual specific case made me realize just how often it happens and just how real it is. I am, as my Gravatar profile states, waking up to the world around me. I am learning about the cruelty in it. And I am watching the brave people who stand up and fight against this cruelty. I hope that I possess the courage to be one of them.
My heart goes out to Raif Badawi and his family. I cannot even begin to imagine how torturous this must feel for all involved. And, sadly, I can’t do much about it but spread the word. So that is what I am doing with this post. Please take the time to read the post I linked to.
Image: Google, Flickr