The happiness of any society begins with the well-being of the families that live in it — Kofi Annan

The happiness of any society begins with the well-being of the families that live in it — Kofi Annan

The happiness of any society begins with the well-being of the families that live in it — Kofi Annan

 IF TOLERANCE, RESPECT AND EQUITY PERMEATE FAMILY LIFE, THEY WILL TRANSLATE INTO VALUES THAT SHAPE SOCIETIES AND NATIONS – KOFI ANAN (1998)

  • ‘’The happiness of any society begins with the well-being of the families that live in it’’ – Kofi Annan
  • “It takes a village to raise a child”. If we live in a global village we are all responsible for every child. If we truly understand the nature of the modern world then America and Europe and Australia and Asia and Africa are in the same village. And therefore, we are all part of our common endeavour to raise every child in the world. We have to be bound by simple strong values across every religious tradition. Everybody counts, everybody deserves a chance, everybody has a responsible role to play, we all do better when we work together. Our differences make life interesting. – Bill Clinton
  • “By three methods we may learn: First, by reflection, which is noblest; second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest.” That thought or submission is credited to Confucius, a Chinese philosopher who lived in the 6th century BC. Confucius’s principles of wisdom align Chinese tradition and belief. ‘’He championed strong family loyalty, ancestor veneration, and respect of elders by their children and of husbands by their wives, recommending family as a basis for ideal government. ‘’He espoused the well-known principle called ‘’The Golden Rule’’ — “Do not do unto others what you do not want done to yourself.”  Wisdom is strength; a sort of endowment.  It is possible to understudy endowed people of knowledge. It is a virtue that could be gained and developed. Those who have wisdom turn out to be achievers because they apply the correct principles through reflections.  Those who have succeeded in life usually apply wisdom to excel.
  • “Poverty is not just a statistic; it’s the story of peoples’ lives. It’s really a description of people who don’t have enough to live on and don’t have enough to raise kids decently on. Its persistence is a severe constraint on economic growth and maybe even worse, it is a profound constraint on social mobility.”15 percent of Americans are in poverty, and many individuals and families weave in and out of poverty” which “threatens our nation with the prospect of a permanent class of individuals who are unable to contribute productively to and benefit from a thriving economy.” As “childhood poverty often means growing up without the advantages of a stable home, high-quality schools, or consistent nutrition” and “adults in poverty are often hampered by inadequate skills and education, leading to limited wages and job opportunities,” The Hamilton Project explained that “the social and economic costs of poverty remain as real as ever and threaten to undermine the nation’s social fabric and economic future.” Moreover, one particular concern is that “children born into deprivation will live their lives stuck in a perpetual poverty trap. “When we address poverty, we’re really talking about a piece of America’s quilt, something that belongs to all of us. “it’s about the collective viability as a nation, and not just economically, but also socially, even morally” in order to “develop our human potential. “we should be working together for a country with more shared opportunities, shared prosperity, assuming more shared responsibilities.” – Bill Clinton in his keynote address at the Hamilton Project
  • BE CAREFUL WHO YOU TRUST: I have seen things in my relationship with people, and my conclusion is that don’t be too quick to trust a man because you really cannot fathom what human beings can do. What I am saying is based on my personal experience in the various companies in which I worked in, (particularly in Nigerian Breweries). The Bible says the heart of man is deceitful and desperately wicked; who can understand it? Before you say I trust this man, be very careful. I had trusted people and I was disappointed times without number. I have come to realize that you cannot say I know this man until you have tested him with a number of things, especially money and power. The way people change when those things come under their control is simply amazing. Whenever you are in a position, you should realize that you hold it in trust for God. For God to prosper you there, He expects you to do his will, not your will. The moment I came to that realization, my life changed. If you are a Chief Executive Officer (CEO) today, it is not because you are the best person, but it has pleased God to put you there to do his will, not your will. If you are doing his will and your ways please him, then, you will go from success to success’’ – Elder Felix Ohiwerei

 Kofi Annan Stresses Role of Family in Turning Notion of Human Rights Into Reality, in Message on the Occasion of International Day of Families, on 15 May, 1998. Following is the text of Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s message on the occasion of the International Day of Families.

This year’s International Day of Families is dedicated to the relationship between families and human rights. The theme is particularly timely, for 1998 marks both the fiftieth anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the mid-point of the United Nations Decade of Human Rights Education.

The ways in which families are formed, function and evolve vary greatly from country to country, as do perceptions of the family’s role in society. But in any culture, the family provides the natural framework in which individuals — especially children – receive the emotional, financial and material support indispensable to their development.

It is within the family that children learn the values that will guide them for the rest of their lives. It is within the family that they form their earliest relationships, learn to communicate with others and interact with the world around them. It is within the family that the notion of human rights becomes a reality lived on a daily basis. If tolerance, respect and equity permeate family life, they will translate into values that shape societies, nations and the world.

The family microcosm enjoys the same rights and suffers the same wrongs as any society that exists around it. A society afflicted by instability, economic hardship or violence will impair the family’s ability to fulfill its first role: that of educating, protecting and supporting its members. Enabling and aiding the family to play that role should form the focus of any social policy.

This year, as we reaffirm our commitment to human rights, let us also rededicate ourselves to making the family the first bastion of progress and democracy. Because, ultimately,  the happiness of any society begins with the well-being of the families that live in it.

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