Facets: I Am an American By Both Right & Privilege

I Am an American By Both Right and Privilege

By TLB Contributing Author: Ken LaRive

These rights and privileges are mine:

I may think as I please. What I hold in my mind belongs entirely to me.

I may speak and write as I please, so long as I do not interfere with the rights of others to do the same. However, the promotion of unwarranted and unjustified hatred, promoted by propaganda and overt lies should not be tolerated in a society where Liberty from Tyranny is sought.  Truth should be our primary goal, as without it no viable decision can be made…

I have the right to vote. By my vote I choose the public officers who are really my servants.  No corporation conglomerate, banking consortium, or international government should be allowed to influence, pressure, coerce, or select any elected official, and no dual citizen should ever be allowed to hold public office. When we allow any of this, our country no longer belongs to we the people.

I have the right to choose my work, and to seek any job for which my experience and ability have fitted me. No person should be chosen by government mandate, be it race or creed, over those more qualified. Integration or segregation should be chosen entirely by the individual, as the promotion of conscious awareness should not be influenced by government, and yet, all individuals, including myself, are protected by our Bill of Rights and our Constitution…

I have the right to try to improve my lot through various means, but those decisions and repercussions are my responsibility only. Government has no jurisdiction to bail me out…

I have the right to a prompt trial by jury if I should be accused of a crime, with due process according to our Democratic Republic based on Constitutional Law.

I may seek justice in the courts where I have equal rights with others.

I have the privilege of sharing in the benefits of many of the natural resources of my country, but I have no right to any of them. At the end of this essay I will explain why…

I may educate my children in free schools, government run, or choose to educate my children in any way I deem fit, including home school, private or parochial. However, there should be some form of universal or common criteria and testing as a gauge of accomplishment, for participation in the market place. If that form of education does not ascribe to the general description of what a formal edification is, a free market should not be mandated to hire them.

I have the right to worship as I think best, so long as I do not inhibit others of a differing mindset to do the same.  Faith is very precious and personal, and no religion should demean or make demands on another faith…  unless however, that faith threatens me personally, or my ability to worship as I see fit.  Respect for the differences of faiths are universal in a free and open society, and those who cannot coexist extracted.

I have the right to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” These are great aspirations, but in no way are they guaranteed, and though rights and privileges can be held accountable by law…  happenstance, chance, accidents and coincidences can thwart a positive outcome, and so cannot be assured.  I am responsible for my decisions, and no one but me accountable for my mistakes, or an accident.

Author’s note: It is good to contemplate the difference between what is held as a right, and what is defined as a privilege.  Different mindsets can ascribe the origin of a right fundamentally, but most will agree that it is not granted my men, their laws, or even a mandate. People of faith seem to agree that it is God given, and others that it is universal, natural, and fundamental to what we ascribe as human. An assessment of privilege, however, takes another road, and I think most all will agree that it originates from civilization, or society, and yet, not always considered of the highest order, as promoted by morals and ethics.  An example of rights might be freedom of speech, and a privilege akin to having a driver’s license… sure, it is our duty to learn these things, to discuss, debate,  and ponder them to the point of truth.  Sometimes in our society, however, we seem to mix up these two concepts, and the ongoing abortion debate is a case in point. Is having an abortion a right, or a privilege? If one cannot draw the line on where a life begins, isn’t it immoral to guess? And so, that particular law, protecting the mother’s right to choose, is not ascribed by morals and ethics, but by man-made mandate.  

“Life is a gift, and it offers us the privilege, opportunity, and responsibility to give something back by becoming more.”

-Tony Robbin

“The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are.”

-Joseph Campbell

Thomas Payne, The Rights of men



Ken LaRive – FacetsIt’s a simple but beautiful metaphor. Our soul is likened to an uncut diamond, pure, perfect, and unrealized. Each learned experience cleaves a facet on its face, and leaves it changed forever. Through this facet, this clear window, new light, new questions and ideas take shape and form. This process is our reason for being …


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