Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. said it better than I ever could with these words... "The right to swing my fist ends where the other man's nose begins."
To often in today's world we see the arrogance of people affirming THEIR rights and defending THEIR freedoms while having no issue of conscience in ignoring or denying the rights and freedoms of others. I think it is the saddest thing of all when people wave the banner of freedom but mean only their freedom, and most certainly not the rights and freedom of "those people" who are different from themselves.
I believe that my rights, and the freedoms that have been given to me, end when they interfere with the freedoms and rights of another. A very simplified example would be the debates in not too distant past over the freedom of smokers to smoke where they please versus the freedom of others to breathe clean air. Yes, smokers have the right to smoke it they so choose, but they do not have the right to pollute the air and endanger the health of others around them.
If we say that we stand for freedom, then we have to believe in our hearts the right of all people to have the same freedom we have. We cannot say it's good for us but not for them, we cannot treat them differently than we believe we have the right to be treated.
I still hold out hope that one day we might live in a world where freedom is universal, and more importantly that the recognition of all people everywhere as members of our extended family becomes a way of life. When that day comes, it will be inconceivable to us that someone should be constrained while we are allowed to live free. It's an all or nothing way of believing, and it's something I wish I could live to see.
where the writing prompt was the following quotation:
"Individuals entering society must give up
a share of liberty to preserve the rest ."
- George Washington