E – Expectation, as appearing real… a particular event that will happen with mission success and/or mission failure.What the community expects and what is held in the thoughts or consciousness becomes the real experience or the real reality.

Expectations provide a framework of how different aspects of life should unfold. Whether it is graduating with a degree, walking down the aisle of marriage or simply preparing a nightly meal, we create standards for ourselves and others. Often, we create generalizations along the way as well.

What most do not understand; however, is that each person’s expectations are their own. For example, one person may expect a feast for dinner each night, while another simply expects leftovers from a prior day.

A general outline for an individual’s quality of life expectation can directly correlate to their rights as a human being. According to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which was adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations in 1948, there are 30 basic rights and fundamental freedoms which all human beings are entitled. These rights include the right to a fair and public trial and the right to travel.

The expectation of equal rights in housing is also one of the Human Rights. Every human has the right to an adequate standard of living for themselves and their family. Every human also has the right to economic, social and cultural help from their government. Governmental organizations such as the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development focus their efforts to ensure that Human Rights like these are present for all.

HUD’s mission is as follows:

“HUD’s mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. HUD is working to strengthen the housing market to bolster the economy and protect consumers; meet the need for quality affordable rental homes; utilize housing as a platform for improving quality of life; build inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination, and transform the way HUD does business.”

As the effort to deconcentrate Public Housing in Rockford, it is essential to remember these rights. While quality of life and quality of housing go hand-in-hand, the ultimate outcome is in the hands of the individual. The stimulus of change, as it appears in Rockford, has lead to many different responses from our citizens. What is not understood; however, is the space between the stimulus and the response. In this space lies an opportunity to make a choice. It is in this space where the individual can choose to pause, listen, process and then respond. It is our right to an opinion, but action is never taken without a choice. It is also our right to education, which must be acknowledged within that choice.

Eleanor Roosevelt, Chairperson on the Commission of Human Rights, shared the following in 1958. She proves that expectations may be adopted by the larger world, but is the individual that holds the key to action.

“Where after all do universal human rights begin? In small places, closest to home – so close and so small that they cannot be seen on any map of the world. Yet they are the world of the individual person: The neighborhood he lives in; the school or college he attends; the factory, farm or office where he works. Such are the places where every man, woman, and child seeks equal justice, equal opportunity, equal dignity without discrimination. Unless these rights have meaning there, they have little meaning anywhere. Without concerted citizen action to uphold them close to home, we shall look in vain for progress in the larger world.”