Thursday, July 9, 2009

The Manifesto Obvioso

Author's note - Yes, I have a manifesto. No, I don't have a shack in Montana, so nothing to worry about yet. This is not a complete document, but instead something I've been batting around inside my skull for years. There are more rights we have as humans, and certainly more responsibilities. If I've missed something, please add it to the comments! -E-

Many people are confused about the difference between their rights and their responsibilities. You have no right to be handed everything on a silver platter. You DO have the responsibility to work hard and the right to be rewarded for that hard work.

Closed-minded ignorance is destroying world society. You have the responsibility to be informed about the world in which you live, and the responsibility to keep your mind open. If you refuse to listen to opposing viewpoints, your opinions become weak and ineffective. Derogatory, hate-filled opinions give others the right to ignore you (if they weren’t going to, already). By the same token, you have the right to ignore anyone or anything that causes you offense or pain, whether physical or emotional. This does not negate the responsibility you have to be aware of those offenses when forming an opinion.

Get over yourself.

You need not walk a mile in someone’s shoes, but you do need to acknowledge their right to walk that mile themselves without your uninformed and un-requested input. Even if they decide not to wear shoes, and the road is really gravelly and there might be broken glass.

While perhaps you were born yesterday, the modern world society was not. Different countries, different peoples, different cultures and traditions have survived and evolved over centuries to create the world in which we live today. Failure to realize this is nobody’s fault but your own.

History isn’t always beautiful, it isn’t always fair or just or humane. Ignoring the past is wrong as it denies the long and difficult journey behind today’s and tomorrow’s world. However, acknowledging the cruelties of the past does not require us to continue or celebrate those cruelties.

You can complain about anything you want, as long as you realize that nobody wants to hear it. Life is not fair, so if you bring unfairness upon yourself nobody wants to hear it. If you buy a car that gets 3 MPG, you relinquish your right to complain about gas prices. Nobody is force-feeding you saturated fats, injecting lard into your veins while you sleep. Coffee is hot. Knives are sharp. Animals bite and plants contain allergens, and unless they’re an invasive species, they were there before you. If they’re invasive species, another human being screwed up and introduced them, so again, not the plant’s or animal’s fault. Unless the worst of an event actually happens to you, you have no right to say ‘Why did this happen to me?’ ‘Bystander’s Remorse’ is an asinine assumption.

The effectiveness of standing on the street corner with a ‘Homeless, Jobless, Please Help’ sign is often reduced when you’re standing next to someone who took the responsibility to get a thankless, low-paying job holding a sign for a clearance sale or new apartments.

Honesty is not always rewarded, nor is honesty its own reward. Honesty is yet another responsibility, as is tact. Being honest solely for the sake of hurting another person is not right, or fair. And yes, just because life is unfair, you don’t have to go adding to that uphill battle.

You have the responsibility to think of who else you might affect if you’re being selfish. You have the right to be selfish all the same, but the responsibility to know that people might not like you.

Oddly enough, you have the right to be wrong. Nobody can force you to be correct in everything you do. However, you do have the responsibility to accept someone else pointing out your wrongness, and the responsibility to correct anything that can be corrected.

You have the right to fight at a party. The host, at his or her discretion, has the responsibility and right to set you straight.


Bev said...

True 'dat, brutha. I have nothing to add. Well done, and I agree on all counts.

Harmony said...

Wait nobody is force-feeding me saturated fats and/or injecting lard into my veins while I sleep? Crap! Well I am off to the treadmill.

Perfectly written and absolutely true on all counts.

Anonymous said...

Well put. I loved it.

Be nice and share!

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