Saturday, July 23, 2011

The Right to Expect Something

Well it has been a long quiet spell here due to several causes, vacation, kitchen renovation, kid’s events, work and just plain lack of zeal. So let me start up again saying I hope everyone is having a great summer.

The question that has been rolling around in my mind for the last few weeks is this: Do I have a right to expect my neighbor to behave morally and responsibly? Should I expect something from my fellow citizens? Do I have a right to expect them to be responsible, honest, respectful, free from dangerous and illegal substances? Should I expect them to teach their children to be responsible and respectful other’s property, to learn how to work to provide for themselves and their family? Do I have that right, the right to expect a certain standard of behavior form my fellow citizens?

If the answer is yes, it is way past time to exercise that right. If so, I need to start demanding good moral/ethical conduct from those around me and expecting them to be responsible. I’m ashamed to admit I gave up on this idea of "expecting" others to behave morally in college when I was bludgeoned with the, “Don’t force your morality down my throat” mentality that prevailed at the time. But now, 30 years later (actually earlier but I haven’t said much about it until now), I see the error of my ways.

So if you answered my question above by saying NO! I do not have a right to expect anything from the behavior of my fellow citizens. You still say, “don’t force your morality down my throat.” Or, I have no right to expect them to behave based on some basic morality. If you are in this crowd let me ask you a couple of questions.

Is the person on welfare expecting anything from my behavior? (Are they expecting a standard of behavior from me e.g. to go to work, after 8 years of exorbitant education costs and sacrifice by my family, to give over a substantial percentage of my hard earned income to support them?) If they’re not expecting this, let’s cut welfare spending right now.

Is the person receiving public assistance of any kind expecting anything from my behavior, e.g. to fund the government coffers that pay them to stay home and do _______ (you fill in the blank)?

The suggestion that welfare recipients take drug tests routinely puts some light on this question. If you expect something from your fellow citizens (public assistance) then your fellow citizens have a right to expect something from you.

Seems fair to me.

If I have no right to expect anything from them, well… they have no right to expect anything from me.