Why “Human Rights Warrior”?

Simon 4yo
My son Simon inspired the Human Rights Warrior

It all began, as so many things do, with a misunderstanding. I was putting my son Simon to bed one night when he said,

“Mommy … What’s it like to be a human rights warrior?”
“But I’m not a human rights warrior. I’m a human rights lawyer.”

He waited a couple of seconds – this kid has an uncanny sense of comedic timing – before wrinkling up his little nose and asking,

“What’s a LAWYER?”

reykjavik-kidsI’ll never know what kind of weapons he thought I was secretly carrying in my briefcase because the description of my actual job put him right to sleep. But this bedtime exchange got me thinking.  While I have many stories from my experiences in human rights work,  most of them I have never shared with anybody. Stories of human rights abuses don’t exactly lend themselves to pleasant cocktail party conversation.

As a parent, however, I am challenged to distill these experiences into something that my kids can understand and profit from.  My goal when I started writing the Human Rights Warrior was to think more intentionally about what I have learned from my work in human rights so that I may pass these lessons along to my three kids.

Looking back after nearly two years, I’ve surprised myself with the range of things I have written about.  Of course, I have written about Family and Parenting, including Raising Boys Not To Be Total Jerks and Talking to My Kids About Death.  But I frankly didn’t expect that I would learn as much from my kids as they would from me (see, for example, Hockey Moms and The Definition of Family.  But I’ve also written about:

I have to admit that I NEVER imagined that I would include posts with recipes (see Food) or Humor, but these are important parts of my life as well.  Welcome to my world! Who knows what’s next?

As Eleanor Roosevelt famously said, “Where, after all, do universal human rights begin? In small places, close to home – so close and so small that they cannot be seen on any maps of the world.”

bud stories 2You CAN make the world a better place!  Learning about human rights issues is a good first step.  Please join me and my family on this Human Rights Warrior journey.  You can also follow along with social media: Facebook (Humanrightswarrior), Twitter (@jprestholdt), Pintrest (jprestholdt), LinkedIn, etc.  Thank you for reading!

37 thoughts on “Why “Human Rights Warrior”?

    1. Yes, very true! As it evolves, this blog is really helping me to understand the fullness of being human and that human rights is really about everything a human needs to live to their fullest potential. Thanks for your insightful comment! (That photo is from a women’s skills training program in Buduburam Refugee Settlement in Ghana.)


        1. There were several Liberian refugee settlements, but Buduburam was the largest. Buduburam is a town about 30 km outside of Accra, just down the coastal road. When I was first there in 2007, there were more than 30,000 Liberians living there. Many had been there, living in limbo for 20 years! It is officially closed now, although there are still Liberians and other West African refugees living in the area. I was there 3 times between 2007-2010 and have written several posts about it.


  1. tanyakschenck

    I have been reading your blog for more than couple of months now and have learned a lot. It is really good and you are maintaining it very well. I would like to submit my post on your blog (as guest post) with my website link. Please let me know if you are accepting guest posts for free of cost and I’m ready to discuss my contents with you, I promise you with unique, quality and 100% plagiarism free content. I am looking forward to get your reply.
    Thank You,
    Tanya Schenck


  2. I saw your post about why you love your teen son, (I’m horrible at remembering titles, sorry) on Freshly Pressed, (Congrats btw) and as a teen myself, I think you hit the nail on the head. I dont quite agree with everything you post about concerning human rights exactly, as some of it goes against the Bible, but you are a clean blogger with morals and a wonderful talent for writing, and I appreciate that. So thanks for showing me that not everybody has stereotypes against teens, and that there are some posts worth reading on Freshly Pressed.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your comment, Squidtea. We don’t have to all agree on everything – the important thing is that everyone has the right to an opinion and the ability to express it. I appreciate that you are doing that, both in your comment and on your blog. You are a talented photographer – I look forward to seeing more of your work. I’m not much of a photographer, but I love to participate in the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge on Fridays. Best wishes to you!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I Enjoyed viewing your site. We have a lot in common including being inspired by our children. I also remember that it’s easy to get so busy getting what I need to get done done that I forgot what it was I was really doing, when the company forgot I left a human services.
    BTW: thank you for taking the time to read my post.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. You had me at the start. I came here through your post about how brilliant teenagers are (you’re right!) and I always used to say maybe my daughter might want to be a human rights laywer… human rights warrior sounds even better!!! Keep up the good work, i will be happy to follow you and read some more. Much admiration to you 🙂


Everyone has the right to an opinion and I'd love to hear yours! While comments are very welcome, they will be moderated. My kids read this blog, too!

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