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Unpacking Rights and Responsibility (Part 3)

Updated: Aug 19, 2020

Hopefully you have reviewed part one of this series, and you are keenly alert to our constitutional boast and the beauty of certain inalienable rights?

Unfortunately, our history doesn't demonstrate that same commitment to affording equal opportunity for everyone, in order, that they might live into those rights without obstruction.

Systemic racism of late has become blatantly clear, not only by the media's display of various and brutal police assaults, but a growing poverty disproportional per one's ethinicity.

Yes, there are exceptions in that many minority individuals, otherwise limited by the system, have learned to navigate this "white privilege" and have been quite successful. The irony is that we, those born into white privelge, hold that statistic of minority success up as proof, that all men and women have equal opportunity in this capitalistic system of free enterprise.

Meanwhile the wealth gap continues to grow between "the 10%" and an impoverished "underclass".

We have been cautioned for decades as to the austere ramifications, when CEO salaries grow beyond 100 times that of minimum wage employees. We are there, and it seems philanthropy alone is no longer sufficient to calm the culture and sustain a productive work environment.

As well, the work environment and the skill set to compete has changed drastically, and though before the COVID crisis we could boast of low unemployment, the concept of a liveable wage had escaped us and thus exacerbated the living conditions of the "working poor" (tragic language for such a highly developed and high wealth nation).

Post COVID, this complex narrative and perhaps a "new norm" in health challenges has now been compounded by repeated media reinforcement of police brutality in black/white encounters, having reached a boiling point, resulting in riots long absent since the 60's.

Among those who might recoil at the concept of Systemic Racism and White Privilege, these "looters and thugs" are simply irresponsible individuals, perhaps even stirred to anarchy by outside parties interested in the overthrow of our good democracy.

There may be an element of truth here, but again such irony. How can one learn responsibility, maintain solid family structures and economic sustainabilty, if never given equal and unrestrained opportunity? Government can never assure opportunity by way of law and order; thats counterintuitive.

Perhaps by virtue of digital devices, this now well connected society with prosperity now its gospel, has been found out among the underserved.

Though difficult to admit, we are driven by materialistic greed and competition. Overtime, when for some, substance abuse and participation in the drug trade is the only lucrative economy within one's isolated residential environment, where can one assume that the concept societal responsibility would be learned? Obviously, a church on ever corner has not worked!

Moral and societal responsibility is learned in the continuum of success, equitable education and spiritual growth...perhaps in a reverse order.

Spiritual growth, with access to equitable education, in an environment respectful of one's inalienable rights is a sure foundation for success. (See graphic representation above).

Government at that point might once again become an outlet for public service, an act of sincere gratitude, rather than a place of power plays and personal privilege.

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