By Jeff Schoener
Rights and privilege. In today’s society people seem to use these phrases interchangeably. Some people feel that they are so privileged that certainly they have the right to anything they desire, often without effort or sacrifice. We live in a nation where there are many who have lost their balance.
The dictionary definition of privilege is “a grant of benefits or rights beyond the advantages of most”. It is our right to strive for all we want, and there is a good reason to strive and not demand. There is an ancient curse that says, ‘May you get everything you want’. On the surface, this seems like a blessing. Once we are granted more, we individually hold even greater responsibilities. How often do we want the blessings without the responsibility? Only through time, effort and sacrifice will we understand the value of what we gain and what the future brings to us. The word ‘rights’ is often also confused with ‘liberty’ – being free from restriction or control. This concept too comes with levels of responsibility.
Concepts of privileges and rights must be balanced by a proper measure in both gratitude for our ability in sacrifice, as well as our responsibility for the outcome.
It is with my deepest gratitude that I say ‘thank you’ for the ultimate sacrifice of all the brave men and women who have fought for my rights and my privileges on this Memorial Day.