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Rights are extremely important. They are responsible for the basic human dignity of all people and their right to live in freedom and with justice and equal opportunity. Some rights are ours because we are human. Others because we belong to a certain nation. Even others because we are a part of a select group. Generally speaking, rights allow us to do what we want to do and be what we want to be within reason.
Accompanying rights, however, is a special list that I always feel gets left out. This list is of duties. If someone takes our rights away, we have various entities to get help from. If however, and sadly at some level, we ignore our duties, there may be national ramifications but not legal ones.
This week, I invested some time in gathering a list of rights and duties that I have and I should hold myself accountable to. It is a very powerful and important list of our rights. It is also a fantastic list of my duties. Unfortunately, I realized that I have not been fulfilling my duties as well as I should.
Once I had assembled the lists, a couple of things came to mind.
- A list of rights without duties seem incomplete.
- We should have a list of rights and duties for work and family as well.
The same should hold true for professional teams and families that we are a part of. So I decided, this week, to create a list of rights and duties that I have towards my professional and home teams too.
|List of Rights||List of Duties|
|Right to do what we want to do.||Duty to keep doing what we might not like to do.|
|Right to be irritated and angry at people.||Duty to keep smiling no matter what.|
|Right to find fault in others.||Duty to improve everything around us.|
|Right to be ignorant.||Duty to be open minded and appreciate diversity.|
|Right to resist change.||Duty to accept that change is inevitable.|
|Right to be all-knowing.||Duty to always be a work-in-progress.|
|Right to be an individual contributor.||Duty to realize that we could be leaders in whatever we do.|
|Right to have our version of the truth.||Duty to realize that truth does not suffer from versions.|
|Right to tell people how to be successful.||Duty to create an environment where success happens.|
|Right to enjoy status quo.||Duty to keep moving forward.|
|Right to have fun.||Duty to make sure that the fun is not on someone else's expense.|
|Right to learn.||Duty to learn.|
This is not an a complete list. There are a lot more duties that I have towards my professional team and family. I have maintained that things happen to us because we let them happen. Our success and happiness is only dependent on what is within us. How we handle adversity, again, is a function of our inner character and strength. Blaming or giving credit to the world and others for what happens to us, usually, is a waste of time.
The rights on the left are sufficient for us to have and do our job. The list on the right might help us be more and add more to our lives and to lives of others. In our attempt and with an intent to leave this world a place better than we had found, let us not forget the duties that we have towards ourselves.
Do you agree with the lists? What would you like to add or remove from it?