• Zeeshan Samad

Rights vs Privilege

In terms of what we can or cannot do, there is a pretty clear definition about what action we have a right take and what action is a privilege. The classical example is that you can walk on your own property -- that's your right, but you can't walk on your neighbor's property, you'd need permission for that, and having that permission is a privilege, not your right.


But let's talk about what we have or do not have access to. Is it a right to have access to healthcare? What about access to quality education? What about being loved? Legally speaking, these are all privileges. But should they be?


I'm sure everyone would agree that no one should go through an abusive childhood, that it's every child's right to have non-abusive parents. And yet it is not a right. Sadly, it is technically a privilege. But hopefully, one day, this (and many other things) will move from being a privilege to being a right. What gives me hope is that we are progressing in the right direction. There was a time when being free (as opposed to a slave) was a privilege. Maybe one day people will say the same about being educated.

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