Monday, 4 February 2013

Get Over Your Rights!

Know what's funny?

If you live anywhere similar to where I do, we live in one of the most blessed, prosperous times human history has ever seen!  Is it cold?  Meh, turn up the heat.  Did you food go bad even though you have a refrigerator that makes it last 3 times longer?  Ah, who cares?  Climb into the motorized transportation you personally own and drive 3 minutes to the store that has stock of pretty much anything you could imagine! Seasonal Availability? SHMEASONAL availability!

We are people of PRIVILEGE.  Truly, we are lucky to live where we do, when we do.  And yet so often, our conversations don't circle around what we've been GIVEN, and our fortuitous circumstances; rather, we focus on our RIGHTS. 

Now, let me be absolutely clear about something.  I'm not bashing people's rights.  When you are born with human DNA, there is a level of dignity that is due you.  If you want to do some reading, you could start here or here.  These are absolutely important, and I wish we could just agree on them and move forward, instead of always having to go back and reclaim lost territory.

But now, when we start getting into the territory of your inalienable human right to farm chickens in your postage stamp downtown backyard, I think we're starting to lose track of what's important.  Nothing against urban chickens.  Just, is this really a "RIGHTS" thing?

Here's my thing: I think we're looking at it all wrong.  Rights are rights.  We need to defend each other's rights.  But when I get so concerned that my rights are being stepped on, I'm dealing in scarcity, not abundance.  When I'm concerned about getting what's DUE me, I have a hard time making sure that the people around me are taken care of.  Maybe if we all spent a little less time worrying about getting what's ours and a little more time sharing our unbelievable abundance with others who need a lift, rights wouldn't be so threatened anyway.

Unless you found a way to get yourself born into the family and circumstance you're in, what you have is a gift.  Be thankful for it, but realize that, however blessed you feel before you share it, you'll feel doubly blessed after.

That's the step AFTER rights.  Privilege.  That leads to responsibility.  That compels us to care for others out of gratitude.

 Try and be that person, who gives generously, and treats what's theirs as a loan or gift to share. I bet, if you ever find your rights under attack, you'll have a lot of people in your corner, ready to return the favour.

1 comment:

  1. You've won the Liebster Award!