I have rights, you have rights. My rights don’t negate your rights and your rights don’t negate my rights. It really is that simple.
Often times I see someone say things like “I have a right to breathe clean air” in regards to a smoker whose smoke is blowing into their house. In turn what happens is the offended person complains to the local municipality, or the Home Owners Association (HOA) if they’re in a neighborhood. Regulations end up getting passed, and then the person who smokes can no longer smoke outside their house.
But why does one person’s rights outweigh the other person’s? They don’t. But we’ve started down a slippery slope of who has more rights. And often times this ends up in court litigation. Sadly this is the wrong approach. But in an over-litigious society… I guess that’s what happens.
Why can’t we all just be respectful? Chances are the person wasn’t doing it intentionally. They didn’t know you had a problem. Why not have a conversation with them and see if you can come to some sort of amicable resolution? I understand this isn’t always possible, but it’s where we should start.
Attacking one person’s rights in favor of your own rights may sound like a good idea at first, because after all, it puts you in a higher position. At some point though, someone will come after your rights because they feel their rights are more important. And how will you feel when you suddenly lose your rights?
The key building blocks to a good society is getting along with neighbors, not being passive aggressive or litigating things in court as a first response. If we each tried harder to get along with those around us rather than fighting over little things, we’d be a lot better off than we are right now.