For some, December holds more meaning than the Christmas holidays. It’s also Universal Human Rights Month and a time to think about freedom and equality for all humans. That’s an extremely tall order, so it might be helpful to break down what that means.

After World War II, the United Nations wanted to make sure that none of the same types of human atrocities occur again. The first Universal Month of Human Rights began in 1948, when the UN signed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This document has served as an outline for protecting marginalized groups around the world.

Universal Human Rights Month in a Modern World

There’s no question that the world is in turmoil. Anyone can open up a newspaper, turn on the television news, or go onto social media platforms and see that. But we can take small steps to improve the world around us.

It starts with coming together and making peace with the people in our lives. We can make sure that we treat everyone with respect, dignity, and kindness, no matter who they are or what they may look like. We can make sure to treat others with different political views or social status with respect and dignity, too.

Become Curious

Universal Human Rights Month is a time to become curious about the world around you, as well. You can take this opportunity to learn about another culture, perhaps a culture that makes you uneasy. You can do some research or engage with others from that culture.

It’s a time to learn about the issues facing other races, gender, or LGBTQ culture. It’s also ok to let what you learn reshape your thoughts and beliefs.

This December is an opportunity to grow as a person. What you learn now can also carry on as a way of life.