Responsibilities

For some reason I was just thinking about my responsibilities, and– as I sometimes do with things I can list– I decided to make a list.

My list goes something like this, although this is not necessarily in order of importance:

My daughter.
My son.
My parents.
The house upkeep.
The vehicle upkeep.
The newspaper column.
This blog.
To not archate against anyone.
My cats.
Keeping myself healthy enough that I’m not a burden on anyone.

Maybe there are more responsibilities I have that I can’t think of at the moment.

I’m not sure it’s a responsibility, exactly, but I do feel a desire to make the world a better place for me having been here. Whatever that’s worth.

One common thing people say in order to trivialize rights is that there can be no rights without responsibilities. That is probably true, but it doesn’t make rights any less important, and most responsibilities don’t seem connected to rights at all.

The responsibility to not archate is the one most related to rights; I have a right to do anything which doesn’t archate.

But, what “rights” do I have to my daughter, for example? She holds the rights (as well as the responsibility to not archate), and I have the responsibility. She isn’t my property. If someone violates her, they haven’t exactly violated me— even though I will take it personally. I hope to teach her to defend her rights and to take responsibility, and I’ll do what I can to defend her as long as I am around.

I’m thinking that rights and responsibility may not be as entwined as those who aren’t comfortable with rights would have you believe.

Of course, those who exercise their rights but take no responsibility will end up archating and stepping beyond what they have a right to do, and they’ll find themselves in the position of being someone their victims have a right to defend themselves from, and that won’t be a fun place to be.

I’ll look at this relationship between rights and responsibilities from a slightly different angle tomorrow.

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Kent McManigal

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[…] related to yesterday’s post is this odd notion I heard expressed recently: “Your rights are my […]