Book Review: Is There Really a Human Race?

Recently I stumbled across a children’s book entitled, Is There Really a Human Race? I was immediately intrigued.  Written by Jamie Lee Curtis and illustrated by Laura Cornell, the book looks at the meaning and purpose of life from the perspective of a race. Questions abound.

“Is there really a human race? When did it start?”

“Who says, ‘Ready, set, go?’ What’s the race like, are there rules; is it fair?”

“Do some win and some lose? What keeps the world going?”

“If I get off track when I take the wrong turn, do I make my way back from mistakes? Why do I do it?”

Like most books for children, the story does not end with the questions, but answers.

“If we don’t help each other, we’re all going to crash.”

“Shouldn’t it be that you just try your best? And that’s more important than beating the rest?”

“Shouldn’t it be looking back at the end you judge your own race by the help that you lend?”

“So take what’s inside you and make big, bold choices. And for those who can’t speak for themselves, use bold voices.”

“And make friends and love well, bring art to this place. And make this world better for the whole human race.” 

This sounds pretty good, right? If we all thought of the other person and became artistic this world would be a better place. While I fully agree that we need to make friends, love well, and have the courage to do the right thing, there are many assumptions in this book that deserve our attention.

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The Global Charter of Conscience: What is it, and why it matters

In December of 1948 The United Nations Assembly gathered in Paris to give the world The Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This pivotal moment in history declared the following:

Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship, and observance. (Article 18)

In 1948 the UN rightly recognized that freedom of thought, conscience and religion is a vital human right. But that was 64 years ago. How are we doing today? As our world becomes smaller, is this fundamental freedom shrinking with it? Continue reading