October 14, 2018

Fight for the Right

When I was a kid, my friends and I would play a game called 'what sense could you live without'. We'd list the pros and cons of losing 'taste' or 'sight', for instance. I'd usually pick 'taste' as I couldn't imagine living without 'sight' and the other senses, like 'touch' and 'hearing', seemed important for safety. We also played 'what limb could you live without', but losing a limb is a serious fear of mine, and I didn't participate. What we never imagined was forfeiting any of our rights.

I'm 38 years old and, until 3 years ago, I would have finished the sentence 'You gotta fight for your right' with the Beastie Boys' lyrics "to party" - I'm only half-joking. What changed for me 3 years ago? I was placed in a position that threatened my human rights, and I decided to fight. Since then I have faced opposition, complacency, and even distain.

Situations similar to mine, unfortunately, occur frequently. What are we doing about it? If we begin to sacrifice even the most (seemingly) insignificant rights, when will it stop? Part of the beauty of democracy is freedom of speech. If we cannot speak, we are truly imprisoned.

Yes, there are worse places to live in the world. That doesn't mean we must accept less here (in the western world). In fact, we must protect our hard-earned rights - to vote, to marry the person of our choice, to express our opinion - and continue to pursue what is right, for us and for our neighbours.

What right or freedom are you willing to live without?

If your answer is "none", then what are you willing to do if your rights or freedoms are threatened?

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