Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that "all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights and are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood."
So, set as it is against a backdrop of unbearable oppression, conflict, and strife, the fourth United Nations International Day of Conscience provides us with another chance for reflection on our moral sense of right and wrong – and an opportunity to look to a better future; one in which everyone has the right to be born free and equal in dignity and rights.
However, who can lead and genuinely encourage the job of building a culture of conscience when it requires comprehensive civic, cultural, educational, and social action.
If we still believe that this is our goal – i.e. a place where each of us has something to learn, give, and share – then it is up to each of us to support that aim. Today is a chance for reflection and soul searching. Am I listening to my conscience? Am I doing what is morally right? Am I standing up and being counted?
And, depending on our answers, I always find it comforting to remember the words of the late The Most Reverend Desmond Tutu: "If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor."