Am I Wrong to Question Rights?

Am I wrong to question “rights?”

Those complexities of society

With little oversight

It works for me

Should we disagree

But that won’t stop the controversy

When questions lead to more questions

Are these rights?

Or merely suggestions

Each definition raises new tensions

Inventions or simply good intentions

And are they freedoms or entitlements?

Ranked where in overall importance?

And I’m wondering

Who established their accordance?

If they’re fundamental to civilization

Where’s the evidence of their creation?

Are we born with them in our sights?

Something we own like copyrights?

Are governments the current source?

Seems to be a natural course

With all things legal, they endorse

Or are they a product of morality?

A way of saying how things should be

Despite being abused

And steered by blatant hypocrisy

Many angles and many disputes

Different tenants and attributes

Some claim their rights derive from god

While others call their gods a fraud

And demand they be outlawed

Combatants all claiming holy ground

Seeking opposition to push around

Others fight without a sound

Shadow figures, underground

These rights they say can’t be taken away

Inalienable claims,

But can they stay?

The list is deep and on display

The right to life, to liberty, and existence

To asylum, religion, and even resistance

Property rights, water rights, and entitlements

Non-interference, symbolized embodiments

Civil, political, social, and economic rights

Hard to determine which to underwrite

No master source of enumeration

Skepticism

Surrounding their creation

Individual measurements and relations

Seem to differ by status and nation

Aristocrats have high expectations

Obviously factual

Seen through observation

Philosophically the subject is confusing

Except

When we’re focused on what we’re losing

Or are they owned?

But we’re not using

Can these rights be stripped away?

Recycled and returned another day?

Or gone

Once they’ve been taken

A chance to reawaken

As we could be mistaken

Maybe rights come at a price

And earning them

Has some sacrifice

Author’s Note

Are rights something we are all born with, or do we need to earn them through our actions?  How are some groups seemingly apportioned with better ones than others?  Do some special interest groups demand extra special treatment than they might have otherwise?  What’s to stop someone from trying to take our rights away?  This list is just an “off the top” look at how I felt after a few minutes of thinking about the subject.

R J Schwartz

I write about everything and sometimes nothing at all.I'm fascinated by old things, rusty things, abandoned places, or anywhere that a secret might be unearthed.I'm passionate about history and many of my pieces are anchored in one concept of time or another.I've always been a writer, dating back to my youth, but the last decade has been a time of growth for me.I'm continually pushing the limitations of vocabulary, syntax, and descriptive phrasing.

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R J Schwartz

I write about everything and sometimes nothing at all. I'm fascinated by old things, rusty things, abandoned places, or anywhere that a secret might be unearthed. I'm passionate about history and many of my pieces are anchored in one concept of time or another. I've always been a writer, dating back to my youth, but the last decade has been a time of growth for me. I'm continually pushing the limitations of vocabulary, syntax, and descriptive phrasing.

3 thoughts on “Am I Wrong to Question Rights?

  • April 10, 2017 at 5:26 PM
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    Good questions in your author’s note, Ralph. And great work on the poem. Apparently our rights can be taken away by whoever thinks they have more important rights. In America we are born with rights according to the Constitution. Yes, some groups do get better rights when they think they matter more than others. Special interest groups have been so demanding they are abusing the system. I have a special interest in creativity (writing, doll making, beading, crochet hats to sell) – I think more rights should be bestowed upon me, yes? Oh well. I love the words you come up with for rhyme, very clever, and I like the flow of this poem, it reads fast. I enjoyed it very much. Well done, Ralph.

    Reply
  • April 11, 2017 at 4:40 PM
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    I enjoyed this poem, Ralph. Good questions, I’ve been thinking of them myself for some time now. Great way to bring the issue to the surface.

    Reply
  • April 11, 2017 at 8:51 PM
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    A complex question Ralph, and very well expressed as to approaches. I believe that rights come from the realization of self and perhaps derived from oppression, when one or many choose to lord over another. Rights then are the passage of equality and justice seen through the eyes of the oppressed. Very thought-provoking my friend. really enjoyed it.

    Reply

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