The Northwest Community College Initiative (NWCCI) takes prides in introducing students to the U.S. system of government. Here Shay Haq, a NWCCI student studying business management at Whatcom Community College, writes about the importance of knowing one’s rights and advocating for others. He compares a fundamental difference between the U.S. and his home country of Pakistan.
The miseries of people in developing countries are many: lack of education, poverty, and lack of access to justice and so on and so forth. The biggest issue that people have in most developing countries is that majority of the population is not aware of their own constitutional rights. The justice system is available and fully functional in most countries, but the majority of people cannot use the system properly to get justice because of lack of education and awareness about their rights.
When I came to the United States, I realized that people have awareness about their rights and how to use them for their own protection and security. Men and women work equally to finance their lives and achieve their dreams. The Bill of Rights in the U.S. constitution protects civil liberties. The privacy of the people is protected and citizens enjoy it. Individual freedom is promised in the Bill of Rights, and that freedom is the least common in other nations around the world. Individual freedom is the result of long term true representative democracy in the United States.
Right to fair and free elections, and involvement in government decisions are the fundamental difference between the United States and many other countries. The individual freedom in many other countries is so restricted that the people must remain completely under the control of government which uses that power in deciding what is legal and what is not. But the people at the same time are responsible for their acts and decisions. The people here are fully aware of their own law and the consequences of their actions. They follow the rules and regulations and obey the laws of their states. If we as international students with the knowledge that we have, respect the law in our countries, motivate and educate people about the laws, we can bring a change in our societies. This country is not great because of its booming economy, technological advancements, or multinational companies, but because this country stands on moral grounds of equality, human rights, freedom of speech, and other constitutional rights of the people.
As individuals, it’s our responsibility to create awareness among the people about their basic human and constitutional rights no matter which part of the world we come from; we all have the power to use the system to get justice. The power of a common person can bring change in this world, but we should know how to use the system and get justice from it inside the framework of the constitution.
The NWCCI program is part of the Community College Initiative, an exchange program sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. The opinions expressed in this blog by writers and those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not reflect the opinions of the Northwest Community College Initiative program, Edmonds Community College, Whatcom Community College, Pierce College, the United States Department of State or any employee thereof. NWCCI and Edmonds Community College are not responsible for the accuracy of the information supplied by student bloggers.