My Rights vs Your Rights

The concept of personal rights or human rights has become a major part of the western society. Every one here believes he or she has “rights” to do something, be somewhere or just behave in some manner. But what happens when your “right” infringes on another person’s “right”?

Don’t get me wrong; I do believe we have rights, but I don’t believe “everything” society (generally speaking that is) claims to be rights. When I was younger, when VHS’s were still the norm, I went for my driver’s license and adults back then told us it was a privilege to drive and not a right. Okay, that’s all good and dandy, but why are people now, and ages past, acting in a way that is contrary to this piece of advice?

I can stretch this personal rights stuff to most aspects of life. In retail stores I’m constantly hearing people throwing a hissy fit when a product they “have a right to have” is out of stock. Or parents suing schools for not allowing their child to go against the school’s written policies. (I don’t think I need to expand on this. But the latter example is a growing issue, especially in USA.)

Enough random ranting–I’ll get to the point of this essay now. I have some perceived rights; you have some perceived rights; the person next to you has some perceived rights. But how far are you willing to go to exercise them? Who are you willing to sacrifice to get the next big thing you “have the right to have”?

Let’s reverse these questions: how far are you willing to go to allow someone else exercise their “rights”? Who are you willing to sacrifice to allow them to get the next big thing they “have the right to have”?

In a world of no absolute truth I will give you an absolute truth. But before I do I need to warn you: you may not agree with me and you may find this truth unnerving. I will tell you this, my claim to this truth will infringe on your right to claim it is not truth. The truth is “Everyone’s right infringes on everyone else’s right.”

Please, before you think or act like something is your right to have or do, think what if another person thought or acted the same way about the same thing? If you exercise your right to sit in the only chair in a crowed room, then you are infringing on another individual’s right to sit in the only chair in the room. What are your perceived rights? What are your perceived privileges? What are the differences?


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