I Have a Right……

Right: noun…“a just claim whether legal, prescriptive or moral.” You know me when I need clarity I go to the dictionary. Definition by itself gives one a sense of understanding and empowerment. I need both. But then lo and behold I have opened Pandora’s Box because you can have a noun, verb, adjective or adverb.

Wait a minute TTG, that’s confusing. Not only that but the word can have so many different meanings. I am caught by the notion that we flip around terms without really knowing the intricacies and subtleties of language. Don’t want the facts to get in the way of a good story.

I have opined before on Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness but as I go through my notes I did not see anywhere that I owed you a good life or a prosperous life. I don’t owe you an education. But as a practical matter we should at least provide people with basics but then they should choose what is right for them.

But the word utilitarian now creeps in. Sure it would be wonderful if everyone had a college degree but who will take care of cars and plumbing and electricity? But then again that guy makes $80 an hour and I have been waiting for three days for him to call me back for a broken pipe. At this point I have to ask what is WRONG with this picture.

Now I also don’t owe you the latest and greatest in healthcare. It’s nice that we have surgeries that can replace most any old body part that failed due to misuse or old age but is that a right? We bring you in after a drinking binge or jumping off a cliff because you thought it was cool. It costs a lot of money to get you right but is that right?

You have the right to an attorney if you rob a bank or blow up a marathon. If you can’t afford one we will pay for it. And for any ensuing discovery or appeals that may go on we will pick up the tab. If you go to jail we will make sure you are comfortable with a TV, three squares and a place to worship no matter who or what that god is. Many people worship the god of material things so I guess we should have a Walmart annex in every jail. It’s their right.

I elect you whether you are right or left. Wait a minute I object to this left business. I am left handed and in tennis my style is called the Sinister Game. Is that right? But I digress. I know some will say the appellation of Republicans as “The Right” is God given but I think then you are downright out of your mind.

If I put you in power I should also have the right to oust you. I usually can wait until the next voting cycle but sometimes I want you out pronto. I can impeach you but that just bogs down the wheels of government more than ever. Besides who is the final arbiter of right and wrong? The Congress? That is downright foolhardy.

Okay before I let your and my head spin out of control let’s cut to the chase. I believe that you are entitled(watch that word) to have a roof over your head in the name of shelter. But it is not mandatory that it be 2000SF plus or that everyone room have a bathroom. I think no one in this country should go to bed or get up hungry. Of course for a lot of us hungry has a wide definition. If we provide these two we have done our institutional part.

That’s it? Look if a town decides it is in the best interest of the evirons to build a school and staff it that is good. If it wants to build a medical center or hospital to care for its citizens it should do so. If it wants to widen a highway or build an interchange for the interstate they should do so. Yes, we need police and fire protection as well as a standing army or navy but we don’t have to inflate those numbers through redundancy and unnecessary staff. We can’t mandate that every story has a happy ending.

The real crux to me is that every right has a responsibility. If you are a parent you need to teach your children well. If you are a boss you can’t take every last nickel for your self and fire with impunity. If you write you must be sure you have your facts straight. If you drive roads, drink water and flush your toilet you must pay for that.

If you are elected to office you must put the best interests of the country before your own career path. If you are trusted as a healer of body or a healer of soul you must safeguard that belief in you. I guess what it comes down to is it really isn’t about my rights but what is right for all of us.

We are all in the same boat and I only hope we have the decency to hold out an oar to a drowning person. A doctor should heal before checking your pay stub. I pray that we really figure out that we should make the pie bigger rather than our own particular piece of it. But if you don’t and choose to feather your own nest then that is also your right however wrong that may seem to me.

The neatest definition of right I found was as a verb “to restore to an orderly healthy state or condition.” No matter how far off course our ship gets we can always change that course to the right direction. If it capsizes it can still be righted. But it does require all hands on deck. Ok. Enough of this righteousness. I’m outta of here and I just hope I make the right decision on what‘s next.

As always
Ted The Great

Factoids:

There are ten articles in the Bill of Rights with seventeen amendments thereafter. They really set the tone of our personality as a country. Freedom.

Synonyms for right: equitable, fair, honest, accurate, integrity, appropriate.
Antonyms…just one. WRONG

Idioms:
Right between the eyes
Your heart is in the right place
Turn out all right
Head screwed on right.

An entitlement is a guarantee of access to benefits based on established rights or by legislation. A “right” is itself an entitlement associated with a moral or social principle, such that an “entitlement” is a provision made in accordance with legal framework of a society. I could spend a couple “Heads” on that note. I’ll spare you for now but do think about it.

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