The Perfect World We Do Not Have

If I could stand up and say This Is My Right and receive in response agreement on that statement from all who consider it, then I would never need to explain or fight or beg. In this perfect world of imagination, every person would be born with the knowledge of the complete set of rights due to each of us, and each of us would be treated equally, without necessity of debate.

In the world of actuality, we live in a nation of vast numbers of diverse people who do not all agree on basic human or civil rights. Is every one of us entitled to a living wage, to health care, to education? Is every one of us entitled to marry whomever we choose? Is every one of us entitled to relieve ourselves in the public bathroom that best suits us?

We don’t agree on how basic services should be paid for, who should run them, or what those services should include. We don’t agree on who should be forced to live or be allowed to die, or on who should be able to decide these questions.

When we talk about human rights or civil rights, often an assumption is made that these are so basic, so intrinsic to every person’s well-being, that every person should, of course, at least agree on how these are defined. Except, this is not our reality. We do not all agree even at this basic level, and the fact that we disagree so deeply is the reason each of us must fight for those rights we feel should be basic tenets of our very existence as human beings. Continue reading “The Perfect World We Do Not Have”

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Talk politics? Yes, we must.

This election cycle has me obsessed with political news. More than at any previous time in my life, I’m realizing how deeply government and politics affect how we live and work and raise our families. I feel a need to know and understand more about who runs this world we live in and how they do it, and what I can do to influence the process.

Maybe it’s because I’m a writer that I’m drawn to diving deep into politics at this moment when our entire political system seems to be in upheaval. I want to learn more and I want to discuss what’s happening, to hear others’ opinions and see things from their viewpoint.

I realize, though, that everyone doesn’t have this same desire, or the time for it. The minutiae of every day must be attended to, and besides, who wants to be so serious all the time? But there’s also that old unwritten rule, that you shouldn’t talk politics if you want to keep the peace. To most people I know, talking politics is like cursing in a preschool classroom. You just don’t do it. Continue reading “Talk politics? Yes, we must.”