A person who really understands his or her own inherent worth and that of others will come to know that worth is not something that is given by the world but comes from a source that transcends all that is physical. Religions do not give worth -- they simply remind people of what is true of everyone. Declarations, conventions and other legal documents highlight the importance of the worth of the individual but cannot confer this. The ways in which society works today often seem to conspire against the individual really knowing himself or herself as one who is naturally endowed with worth and suggest that it has to be earned or, for example, that society gives or accords this worth only to those who are wealthy or occupy a position of authority. In reality, every individual has the right to know that worth is inherent in what it means to be a human being; and all individuals have the responsibility of seeing that this right is affirmed and given expression; and of living a dignified way of life that reflects and supports self-worth but is not the basis of it.
2. Recognition of the inherent worth of the individual is the foundation of freedom and the ethical basis for democracy. Such recognition allows individuals to fulfil their potential, uphold the rights and respect the opinions of others and collectively create their future.