Today’s article is a short and simple one on a subject that I often write about: Rights. In particular, the rights of individual humans.
Most Americans will agree that we live in a culture that has a tradition of accepting that individuals have a number of natural rights (rights that stem from their very existence); that among these are: life, liberty and property (I can use the word that Mr. Jefferson preferred but was not allowed to use because, in his day, property included slaves).
I believe (but cannot prove) that if I were able to conduct a nationwide poll, with the single question “do you think that the best way to preserve your own rights is to respect those of others?”, well over 90% would respond “yes”. Simple concept, simple question, simple answer.
Then I would ask a more difficult question: “who do you include in that group you call OTHERS?” Suddenly, neither the concept nor the question are simple to most people.
→ Is “others” limited to those who, in general, look and behave like me?
→ Is “others” limited to those who share my particular religious beliefs, whatever those might be?
→ Is “others” limited to those who share my particular political beliefs, whatever those might be?
→ Is “others” limited to my fellow citizens?
→ Could “others” possibly be every other human with which I currently share the earth?
Might I humbly suggest that, if your answer is anything other that the last one, you are helping promote an attitude toward human rights that demands that we live in constant conflict, which we will attempt to resolve with constant war.
As you rightfully honor those who gave it all fighting for our liberty, please stop and ask yourself, if we truly respected the rights of all those “others”, might at least some of these brave men and women be still alive?
Think about it.
Troy L Robinson