Friday, October 17, 2008

A Kiss Shouldn't Be A Privilege

Recently, I was giving my two daughters, ages 9 and 5, an impromptu civics lesson. We were talking about rights and priviledges and the difference between the two. A right is a just claim or title, whether legal, prescriptive, or moral. For example, as Americans we all have the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. While on the other hand, a privilege is defined as a right, immunity, or benefit enjoyed only by a person beyond the advantages of most.

So, what started out as a political discussion and lesson for them turned out, in fact, to be a lesson for me. My oldest daughter told me that she didn't think that most people understood the differences between the two concepts. To be fair, they are intricately related in many instances. I asked her to explain.

She said that she felt most people took their freedom for granted. They go about doing their day to day things, not really realizing all the things that they enjoy that so many others do not. Our very right to vote is something that is seen as expected and yet, women have only had the right to vote for about 90 years. People of all types, throughout the world, can not vote for a government of their choice.

Every day we exercise our rights to make decisions that impact our lives and the lives of our families. We do this without realizing that in some countries, the government tells them how much bread they can buy, or how long they have to wait in line for health care. Some countries even tell their people how to dress or what religion to practice. Not here! We have all these rights and exercise them without a thought.

Then, she brought it down to a very personal level. She said, "every night, my friends kiss their mom and dad goodnight. I can't. Something like kissing the person you love goodnight should be a right that every person has - not a privilege." You know what, she's right.

So today, as you go about your daily lives probably complaining about some inconvenience that a loved one has caused you, remember that not everyone can kiss those people that they love the most goodnight. Don't miss your opportunity to do so! Live every day with the people you love to the fullest. You'll never regret it if you do.

You know, I think that I am raising a very smart young lady....


Ann M. said...

that is such a great point--you are raising a very smart girl!

Keri said...

you know... so do I!
Last night i said some of the very same to my hubbie... People do take their 'rights' for granted... not really stopping to thank the men and women who gave & still give so that we could have these rights...

So thank you to you and your family.