Nothing gets me more in a tizzy than to hear politician say, “it’s your right” or “you deserve. ”
We have so many problems and issues in our country. Problems that are not new or somehow unique to our country or even our particular generation. What is unique however is our social dialogue. No time in the history of man have we been more connected and more free to speak our mind. A freedom that I fear is wasted by most and is incessantly driven by a mindless and commercially driven media. In a world that is FULL of EASILY AVAILABLE information, yet we are still horribly ignorant and still allow a few loud and verbose among us to tell us what to think.
Well, I would like a chance to move thought a little.
“Rights” is where I think we have to start. Our society has spiraled into relative chaos due to this simple but contentious concept. Rights, as described by our forefathers, started simply. Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. They knew that true Rights are rare, small but highly treasured things. The basic belief that humans control their own destiny and must be allowed the opportunity to pursue that destiny. Without outside interference whenever possible. Those simple Rights are the cornerstone of our great nation and must be protected. Problem is, recently we decided to expand those “rights.”
Creating one after another (through social dialogue) rights that we “deserve” and are “owed” by society. This was with the noblest of intentions but has led to a degenerate society. One question epitomizes the issue, “What happens when your Rights, conflict with my Rights?”
The definition of Right should never allow this to happen because a Right should be self determined. If a Right is infringing on another person, then it is no longer a Right, it’s a privilege.
I will offer this definition to simplify Rights: anything you can have or do that does not require another living soul to have or accomplish.
If it requires another person, for any reason, then it can not be considered a Right. It has required that living soul to give (even the smallest amount) then it is a gift, therefore a privilege.
If you are honest with yourself, you will see that it is almost impossible to claim many of our so called Rights, as true Rights. The late great George Carlin said it best, “There are no such things as Rights, just temporary privileges.” He also said,” it’s only a Right until it is inconvenient for the government.” So True.
So if I could have one dream. One wish, it would be that we would change our national dialogue of “our Rights” and what we “deserve.” Instead, could we please talk about what privileges we as a nation want?
Talk of Rights is full of selfishness. As the most powerful, wealthy , and advanced country in the world…. What privileges would we want for each other? We want good roads, police, and fire fighters (as someone who has traveled to the 3rd world, these are defiantly privileges) so we are willing to pay for it. We want social welfare and medical care for our elderly, and so, we REALLY pay for it. We have decided we want the biggest, baddest army in the world, and boy do we ever pay for it. We even once wanted to be the first nation to the moon, we payed for it and then celebrated and shared in the privilege that showed our strength and determination to the world.
Accept it folks. We have very few Rights. Almost none. But, we have more opportunity than almost anyone else in the entire world…. please let us not squander it.
We must look long and hard at ourselves and decide what privileges we want and what we are willing to pay for. The pot of gold is not infinite but it is huge and if managed well, could give us (and does give us) privileges beyond our wildest dreams.
We must earn privileges. We must all contribute and work to make our country great so that we can enjoy even more privileges. The Rights you think you deserve, just don’t exist.
The world and society owes us nothing but the opportunity to succeed, it is up to us to take this privilege and be thankful for it.