October 28, 2013 by Liberty
Rights and responsibilities weave closely together. With every right that a person receives, they receive an equally important responsibility. With every responsibility that a person surrenders, an equally important right is taken away. Everyday people try to adjust rights and responsibilities in their own favor but it rarely ever seems to work out as they planned. People underestimate how closely connected they are linked.
If I were to give you the right to decide where we’re going to eat dinner tonight, you would also become responsible for the quality of the dining experience. This might sound a little cold but it’s not even something anyone thinks about. It’s nature. If you told me we were going to your favorite place and the waiter spit in my food and apologized for the rat feces in my gelatto, I would, intentionally or unintentionally, think less of your ability to select a place to eat. If it was the best meal of my life, I would think more of your ability. The responsibility is on your shoulder.
This relationship can be found in just about every single interaction between people. It even works with charity. If I were to let my slacker cousin live in my home for free, I’d be taking some subtle responsibility for my cousin. If he were to complain about my radio being too loud at night, I would (ever so subtly) feel the responsibility to lower the volume. If my cousin came to my home one day and saw me having an orgy on the couch with 3 Abercrombie models and a few farm animals, which caused my cousin to have a heart attack, I would feel terribly guilty that I didn’t put a tie on the door.
The responsibility of charity goes even deeper than that. If my cousin were to live with me rent free and job free for 12 years, I would be responsible for providing that rent free home (for a while at least.) If I were to kick him out on the streets the next day randomly, that would be a little like kicking a child out for using a curse word I taught her/him. Everyday I give and don’t expect anything in return, I become more responsible for that gift because people learn to rely on it. I would now be responsible for easing the cousin off my assistance.
A Sociopathic Mindset
There has always been a minority of people willing to try and bend rights and responsibilities unevenly. Many people try to get the rights of a responsible citizen while living on social welfare. They think that they’re getting something for nothing. That’s just not true though, They become more and more responsible for the damage being done to themselves and others. I’ll provide a thought experiment to help prove my point. If one day, politicians decided to cut spending, (I realize this is hard to imagine,) the men and women accepting that responsibility become responsible for “getting in the streets to protest” and other tactics to try and prove their point. They also end up suffering the most of the consequences if/when the system ultimately fails. They will not be as well prepared.
Downright theft is also the acceptance of a responsibility. If I were to take the right of eating your sandwich, I’d also be taking the responsibility of watching my own back. I would constantly have to worry about retribution. You may be a sandwich short but I’d have to spend time wondering if I’ll ever have to suffer the consequences. Heck, you might be crazy enough to kill me for stealing your sandwich. At the very least I’d have to fear the opinion of me that you have and spread to others.
No matter how hard we might try and separate our rights and responsibilities, they will always come back together.
The Upward Trend – How To Achieve Freedom
The more someone takes on responsibility, the more they earn their rights.
This can be illustrated quite clearly by the stereotypical kid moving from home. As soon as the child is no longer reliant on their parents they suddenly start eating ice cream for dinner and occasionally drinking alcohol in excess. They have all the rights in the world because they’re responsible for themselves. Over time though, they begin to realize that they can eat ice cream and get drunk any time they want, that lets them to slow down and mellow out a bit.
One of the quickest ways to gain freedom is to take responsibility of others. That freedom can be used for good things or bad things. A politician uses their freedom (they don’t have to follow the laws) to gain more and more authority (or freedom.) With that, they take more and more responsibility (meaning for and more freedom.) If heads start rolling, it’s not going to be the one with minding his own business that suffers. The politicians will. The freedom can also be used to try and change the way the world works.
There is only so much responsibility that one can take over themselves but there are seemingly unlimited responsibilities and rights available to anyone willing to take them.
Do you want more rights? Then it’s time to start taking responsibility for them.
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