Blog Action Day: Human Rights in 2013

In the past I’ve written about Blog Action Day here and here. I feel guilty for not contributing from 2009 to 2012 in this very worth while cause. As a pioneer in teaching Blogging for Business seminars to both companies and private schools in South Africa, it’s my duty to promote blogging as a tool for change.


Nisha Varghese East London bloggerPerhaps the best example of blogging about human rights is my friend Nisha Varghese. She has written over 1,170 articles on her blog, mostly about children’s rights and rights for people with disability. She herself suffers from cerebral palsy but this has not stopped her from being very active online in promote chartable causes once a year. He most recent cause was to stop slavery and raised over US$ 1,000 simply through blogging and Twitter.


Human Rights are enshrined both in the South African constitution and the United Nations declaration. But what does this really mean in the Internet age? So many people still suffer for various reasons, the gap between the rich and poor continue to widen.  Prof Hans Rosling in one of his numerous TED Talks, clearly showed the correlation between population, access to the Internet, and increases in income. So I believe the right to accessing the Internet is worthy of an addition to the United Nations declaration and all constitutions which promote freedom of the individual.


In September 2013 I moved to China, and feel slightly awkward writing about human rights in this country. There is undertone of don’t look and don’t tell. Chinese Government has made the Internet widely available, and at the same time imposed tremendous filtering and control measures known as the Great Firewall of China.


In conclusion, one thing I am most sure about is that human rights do not depend on governments. If we simply act like like human beings, there will no need to enforce these rights. So I leave you with one of my favourite passages from the Tao Te Ching, the Chinese book of the Way and it’s Power – from Chapter 19 (Ron Hogan’s translation of Tao Te Ching):

[templatic_contentbox type=”normal” title=”Tao Te Ching”]

Get rid of sanctity. People will understand the truth and be happier.

Get rid of morality. People will respect each other and do what’s right.

Get rid of value and profit. People will not steal if they do not desire. [/templatic_contentbox]


Blog Action Day 2008 – Poverty

Last year I blogged about more efficient living in Johannesburg. This year I plan to blog about something my plan to solve poverty in Uitenhage over the next 20 years. All South African bloggers should get directly involved in Blog Action Day 2008 because poverty is the root cause of crime, health and all other social ills we face on the southern tip of Africa. Who needs politicians anyway? Stop voting while you are at it.

Blog Action Day 2008 Poverty from Blog Action Day on Vimeo.


Blog Action Day 2007 – More efficient living in Johannesburg

A while ago I joined the Blog Action Day campaign and I wasn’t sure what I may write about. However, as I’m in Durban, sitting in my hotel room, I’m feeling exceptionally relaxed. You see in Johannesburg the stress levels are likely to be among the highest in the world.

Crime is one of the biggest culprits for the cause of stress and next to that I reckon traffic problems is a close 2nd. Personally I am extremely averse to being stuck in peak hour traffic and working from home is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. And having lived in Johannesburg I can avoid most of the highways and using back routes to find my way to my destination when I do have to go and meet someone.

On the dating front I’ve set-up my relationships so that my girlfriends come over to my place most of the time. This has been a real logistical triumph because so much time is wasted go out, having drinks, dinner, and trying to get a woman to come back to my place. So when I got to the point where women come over to my place I retain the power. You can read being more efficient in your dating life from dating coach Brent Smith.

Anyway back to Joburg traffic my advice to you would be to find a way to work from home, or to begin early and leave early. Worldwide there is a trend to more and more teleworkers and this should be encouraged in South Africa as well. I’m keen to hear your ideas about more efficient living in Johannesburg.