Life often gets out of balance, creating avalanches in our finances, families, companies, health, emotions, and much more. The demanding of rights is one of those…it’s an epidemic, like I stated in my last post. Many times it is really privileges people are seeking.
When demanding rights, the part overlooked, or forgotten, is they are much like space. There is only so much room before intruding in someone else’s space. My rights will collide or snuff out someone else’s rights. Taking a seeing-eye dog in a restaurant, for example, might cause the patron in the next booth to start sneezing. A young child sitting nearby, might be afraid of dogs from being bit previously. While exaggerated, this shows it’s never possible to prevent intruding on other’s rights, but should be minimized.
A few years back, I was reminded how one’s rights infringed on another’s. While shopping locally, I overheard a customer complain to management about the store not having automatic doors. Using a cane, they felt entitled to one. The manager agreed wholeheartedly sharing how he’d been fighting to try to get automatic doors installed. After the couple left, my husband and I spoke with the manager half-teasing, half-educating, we explained how we felt one’s rights infringes on another’s. You see, the motion of the door swinging open, alerts me to knowing I’ve crossed the threshold and which direction I’m facing. With automatic door openers, I am clueless as to where I am until I’m much further in the store. The truth of the matter is, that’s not a major crisis…only a momentary inconvenience. It doesn’t prevent either of us from entering the store.
To demand stores be forced to install special devices for my convenience when it inconveniences or hurts the physically impaired, seems silly. I still live with automatic doors, and the woman using a cane lived with normal swinging doors. I believe people forget we still have freedom of choice. Convenience doesn’t equate a reason to demand rights.
Public smoking used to be a smoker’s right. New laws, in many places, handed the smoker’s right to the non-smoker. While I don’t smoke, I was comfortable with my right to choose. There were restaurants I chose not to frequent, but I believed the owners had a right to run their business the way they wanted.
I’m not stating which is right (no pun intended), nor where we draw the line. My hope is to get wheels turning.
Some things can’t be prevented, and I understand that. However, I believe it would do us good to stop and think. When something doesn’t go your way, ask yourself, Does this affect just me, or a larger population? Is there another solution before I go making a fuss? Am I just being inconvenienced, and am I demanding a privilege rather than a right?”
Fighting for cameras in police cars could be a good thing because it benefits everyone concerned. However, forcing restaurants to have braille menus isn’t necessary, even though it’s a nice touch. I don’t even read braille, and I’m not alone. I actually enjoy someone reading a menu to me anyway. If I feel independent, I can read most menus ahead online. Besides, helping me makes them feel good too.
Instead of demanding rights unnecessarily, or ones that would infringe on another’s, we need to focus on being grateful for the rights and privileges we have here in America. We need to work together to find other solutions first, if possible. ALWAYS REMEMBER – it is impossible to please all the people all the time!
Let’s Talk. Have you ever noticed a time or situation where someone’s demand for rights would infringe on another person’s? Please share.
© 2017, Jena Fellers. All rights reserved.
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