You have the right to wave your hand in the air, but you don’t have the right to hit me in the nose.
America was established upon the foundation of a self-governing people. This means that each individual is entitled to the rights of life, liberty, and property. With each right, there is also a responsibility. As a citizen of a self-governing nation, we have a responsibility to govern ourselves in such a way that we do not restrict other’s rights.
Parents have a responsibility to raise up their children to be good citizens. In order to do this, they have to teach their children that it is not proper to run around the grocery store yelling at the top of their lungs. While technically, the child has every “right” to run around screaming and yelling, the child’s behavior diminishes other’s ability to enjoy what they are doing at that very moment.
There are many methods that parents use to guide their children in the proper way to act like a responsible individual. Four of the main means are religion, philosophy, economic interests, and corporal punishment.
A parent who is using religion as a way to educate their child in the way they are to go often use the golden rule of doing unto others as you want them to do unto you. A parent who is using philosophy will make a rational argument like “You don’t see other people running around and screaming, what makes you think that you can act this way?” A parent who is using economic interests will tell their kid that they get a sticker or a piece of candy if the child behaves. A parent who uses corporal punishment simply disciplines the child when the child does not live up to the standards that the parent has outlined for the child.
In the same way that religion, philosophy, economic interests, and corporal punishment have an impact upon the upbringing of a child, so also, these methods are put in place to help individuals live in a self-governing society.
In a self-governing society, you should be free to live your life as you choose. However, you must restrain yourself so as to ensure that you do not infringe upon the rights of others. Whether you use the golden rule or good old fashion logic, it is critical that for society to function smoothly, it starts with you.
One of the big problems in today’s society is that too many people are attempting to make a quick buck. Even Wall Street is so focused on the next quarter’s profits that it often loses track of long term profit. How many stockholders obtained nice profits from owning Blackberry only to watch those profits disappear as Blackberry became almost extinct in the technology sector.
This swinging for the fences economic approach may make some people rich, but it also has hurt a lot of people. These people who have been hurt by the greed of Big Business or Wall Street end up asking their government to restrain the bad behavior.
It does not matter if you are a Wall Street executive, a teacher in the Midwest, or a construction worker in the South, if you do not restrain yourself, your actions will frustrate those around you and they will insist that government restrain you.
The government has two ways of restricting your rights, it can either punish you for your bad behavior, or it can punish society by restricting everyone’s rights. We all have no problem when our younger brother has to go to bed early because he talked back to mom, however, we do think that life is unfair when our parents put all the kids to bed early because one child did not pick up their toys in the living room.
How often do I hear conservatives complain that the government is passing too many laws that restrict our rights? Pro-Second Amendment citizens understand that they have a right to bear arms. No one will argue that some individuals have abused this right with the inappropriate use of firearms. Rather than focusing on punishing the individual, we have a government who has chosen to punish all law abiding citizens by passing massive restrictions.
No one is a perfect parent and neither is our government. In the same way that each parent strives to be fair and proper in the raising of their children, so also the government needs to be careful that it is not abusing the rights of some because of the abuses of others.
In the same way that parents educate their children in the proper way to act in society, so also, parents should be teaching their children the importance of governing themselves so that they can be good citizens.
If you really want to be free, you must learn to govern yourself. This means that you have to refrain from doing things that will harm others. The golden rule of doing unto others as you want them to do unto you should be burned indelibly upon the conscious of every American. As long as people focus on themselves and their needs first, it will create an environment where the government will have to punish wrongdoers.
Our society is in the mess that we are in today because rather than the majority encouraging the minority to raise their standards, the majority is allowing the minority to dictate what is acceptable behavior. It is not rocket science, laws are passed to dictate acceptable behavior. If you do not want to live in a society with massive regulation, we need to change society.
America was great because she was good. However, America has ceased to be great because she has ceased to be good. The American public is in need of a revival. This revival needs to be a turning back to our roots of doing unto others as we want them to do unto us. Until we start living our lives with the perspective of how our lives affect those around us, we never will have true liberty and we will continue to lose our freedom.