Rights or Responsibilties?

It’s my right!

So many people today talk about “their rights” and how they should be treated. Human rights are very important and should never be trivialised. However many today seem to have the view that everything is “their right” even when it is to the detriment of others.

Here in the UK smoking bans have been imposed in bars, the workplace (which includes motor vehicles) and other areas. Smokers cried out that their right to smoke was being taken away. These people gave little thought to the rights of those whose lungs were being polluted. I heard it once said that “your right to smoke ends where my lungs begin”.

How about – It’s my responsibility?

With all this talk of rights, I would like to turn this around and ask this question. “What are your responsibilities?”

The world would be a far better place if people rather than thinking about what they can do in a selfish way gave more thought to what they can be responsible for. There is no doubt that many road accidents are caused by people who have the view “it’s my right” rather than “it’s my responsibility”.

I am sure like me you have also come across those people who are managers that fail to take responsibility when things go wrong. It’s never their fault. They are quick to claim credit when things go well but where are they when trouble is on the horizon? If want to be a real manager then “man up” and take responsibility for what you do. It may be uncomfortable at times but you will gain the respect and trust of all those around you.

Politicians are experts at passing the buck and seem to thrive on the blame game. Look at their reputations! If only they took their responsibility seriously most people would have a very different view of them.

Next time you’re tempted to think “It’s my right” – stop – change it to “what is my responsibility?”

What do you think about rights and responsibilities? Please leave a comment in the box below.


3 Replies to “Rights or Responsibilties?”

  1. Your point about thinking ‘responsibility’ instead of ‘rights’ is interesting and could lead to some interesting social change. The ‘Right to Die’ as voiced by advocates of euthanasia, shifts to ‘Responsibility to Die’. A game changer for the NHS, don’t you think?


    1. I don’t think that is quite the same for the NHS. They already have to make decisions on treatment or resuscitation and that responsibility will lead to managing a death rather than trying to prolong a life.

      The current debate over a person wishing to end their life early due a serious disease is not going to be the responsibility of the NHS unless the law is changed and the patient requests to die. Then the NHS or other health providers may well have the responsibility to carry out that wish.


  2. Yes I agree. Your comment the other day about social media got me to thinking. Basically , don’t shoot the messenger. Or to put it in 30 plus teams lingo, don’t hate the player, hate the game. It’s up to you. We’re going through the same thing in the United States today. A white supremacist group is marching on the campus of University of Virginia . People don’t agree with them, but they do have the right to voice their opinion

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