Originally posted on my website.

Have you ever found yourself in a discussion that left you feeling very unsettled? Well that’s how I am feeling today.

This is not the first time I have thought about the issue of “rights” and it isn’t the first time that I have written about it, but today it takes on a new layer as I continue to contemplate the workings of a “community”.

I won’t get into the specifics of the situation that triggered this blog because that is irrelevant. The rationalizations are what I am interested in. The main “truths” that are used in the debate go something like this:

1. they think that their rights are more important than mine and that I have to give up my rights so that they can have their rights. (I do not have to stop what I am doing!)
2. they chose to live like that, not me, and I do not have to give up my rights because of their choice

Let’s put the shoe on the other foot now (same “truths” as above, but with a twist):

1. “I” think that my rights are more important than theirs and they have to give up their rights so that I can have my rights (They do not have to stop doing what they are doing!)
2. I chose to live like this, not them, and they don’t have to give up their rights because of my choice

Head spinning yet? Do you have lots of “yah but” thoughts? Perhaps. But my purpose is not to determine who is right and who is wrong. My point is that in a community or, I should say, “in a healthy community”, people work together to find ways to support everyone’s needs and goals. There are compromises and negotiations to determine what works for that particular community at that particular point in time. And these compromises are not made with a “poor me” attitude but in the spirit of giving and supporting others and thus the community as a whole.

A community is not about “me” and “them”; it is not about winning/losing; it is not about my rights… it is about “us”, about win/win; it is about the rights of the greater good and finding a way to allow everyone to be able to contribute in his/her own way and have the resources needed to achieve this.

I feel better now. I wonder how many debates about “rights” I will hear in the next little while? I wonder what pieces of Wisdom I will discover as I sit back and listen to the justifications, rationalizations, and “truths”.



  1. June 15, 2013 at 4:07 am

    well said

    thank you for your kindness

  2. MsDebbieP said,

    June 15, 2013 at 4:22 am

    Thanks, Kimmo.

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