No matter where you go, no matter what you do and no matter who you meet, everyone is talking about their rights, perceived, real or desired. Everybody is talking about what they're entitled to, or at least what they feel they're entitled to, and they ramble on, seemingly endlessly, about it.
It's easy to talk about rights and freedoms, they're good things which give us choices and the power to control some element of our lives. That's why politicians harp on them with every breath they can muster, why advocacy groups of all varieties litter their propaganda with visions of freedom and privilege and why most countries offer countless documents testifying to the rights its citizens have.
However, no one talks openly about responsibility. Everyone wants to hear what they can do and what choices they have, no one cares to think about, much less talk about, what they're supposed to do. Even though freedom means nothing without responsibility, humans, on the whole, opt to ignore their obligations and wonder why freedoms get carried too far.
Then we watch, one by one, as the freedoms we once enjoyed get stricken down by laws. We send messages to those in power that we can no longer stand the irresponsible and they, in turn, punish the masses for the actions of a few. It's a vicious cycle that chips away at our rights, many of which were supposedly set down hundreds of years ago, and that denies us the very things we once cherished.
We need to open our eyes and our minds to this cycle, to see that freedom without responsibility is just a destructive as tyranny. Where one simply destroys the rights of man, the other chips away at them, leaving only the illusion of what was once before.
Yes, it isn't easy to talk about responsibility, to make people think that, just perhaps, they need to treat their rights with care and use them wisely. That they need to police and restrain themselves a little bit in order to avoid being policed by laws and courts. It's an obviously small price to pay but, when it comes to issues of freedom, no one seems to want to as much as think about self-restraint. To them, a freedom with any restrain is no freedom at all.
But, as history has sadly shown us, it's freedom without restraint that's the biggest threat to our rights. Time and time again we've been shown that if we can't control ourselves, someone will do it for us and even though you may loathe to hook freedom and responsibility together, it's only by doing so that we can enjoy any of our liberties at all.
And personally, I'd rather have freedoms that I myself reign in than laws to take their place.