Thursday, 20 January 2011

Human responsibilities

Human rights need to be balanced with human responsibilities. You never have one without the other. Lately, though, our society has been vastly over-emphasising human rights, asking us to be greedy, needy, selfish imps, taking and never giving. The world owes me these things, and I demand them right now. And what do I do in return? I exercise my rights. Give them to me and I will use them. End of story.

I'm not saying fighting for human rights is a bad thing, nor am I saying that the idea needs to be abandoned. And goodness knows there are plenty of places in the world that really need someone to fight for the human rights of their populace. But once we've got our rights, we need to move forward to mature responsibility too. You don't have rights in a pure vacuum. You have rights as long as you uphold their associated responsibilities, and your responsibilities persist as long as you benefit from your rights. They're two sides of the same story.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - I do think the rights need to come first.
PPS - And the first responsibility is to fight for others' rights.

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