There was a time not so long ago when certain societies understood the essential and harmonious link between Rights and Responsibilities. Lately it seems everyone is so busy defending their Rights that they’ve forgotten the other part.
Right: Freedom of Speech
Responsibility: Respect for others
In Chinese philosophy Yin and Yang are complementary forces which interact to form a dynamic system in which the whole is greater than the assembled parts.
But somewhere along the way the Yin and the Yang have diverged. Most of today’s challenges exist because people loudly defend their rights but quietly dismiss their responsibilities. And when rights are exercised without responsibility they become divisive. So we end up with lots of people shouting and very few people listening. Harmony is lost.
The reason we meditate isn’t just to look inwards so we might become better versions of ourselves (although that’s an important step). The end game is Compassion, to look beyond ourselves, so that we might become better listeners again.
Because when we listen, we understand. And when we understand, we expand. Only then do we recognize our responsibility to defend the rights of others, rather than simply protesting our own.