It may not be the answer you want but it is an answer that our ancestors before us understood clearly.
The concept of a right relates to the freedom from interference by other individuals or the government. Individual rights refer to the liberties of each individual to pursue life and goals without interference from other individuals or the government. Examples of individual rights include the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness as stated in the United States Declaration of Independence.
A community is a group of people with common interests and values. Community is characterized by “wholeness incorporating diversity” and may include people of different ages, ethnicities, educational backgrounds and incomes (Gardner 2003). Individuals may be members of two or more communities; for example, one of geographic residence and another of employment.
Community responsibilities are an individual’s duties or obligations to the community and include cooperation, respect and participation. The concept goes beyond thinking and acting as individuals to common beliefs about shared interests and life. A basic community responsibility is voting in elections.
1- We get back our voting power. Do not be apathetic about your vote.
2- We become more entrenched and involved in our communities. Apply the ‘if you see something say something to everything we see and hear’.
3- We do not become disheartened but take action in knowing the law.
4- We voice our opinion monetarily. Where it happens let your voice be known.
Our local elections, where are voices can be heard are the most poorly turned out voting events. We must take an interest in the election of our district attorneys, sheriffs and judges. Most importantly, we must take a look at the people that work for us. Our congressmen, our senators. THEY WORK FOR US.
Start holding them accountable.
In 1787, Thomas Jefferson, the chief architect of the Declaration of Independence, urged the drafters of the Constitution to clearly identify the rights of the people. Jefferson believed past governments had been harsh and restrictive to the populace, governed questionable areas with no just power to act no jurisdictional authority and the result had been a reduction or loss of individual rights (U.S. Department of State). Like Jefferson, many of the founding fathers’ generation feared the encompassing and absolute power of a federal government and demanded a Bill of Rights to protect the people and limit the powers of a federal government.
The Bill of Rights contains the first ten amendments to the United States Constitution and includes the basic privileges of all United States citizens.
Citizenship today requires individuals be knowledgeable of public problems but, more important, have the capacity to act together toward their solutions. Voluntary actions by private citizens working together to right injustices, change directions and pursue benefits for the common good are noted throughout American history.
In every case, people voluntarily came together with a shared sense of purpose for the common good and with the intent of righting a wrong in the community. They also found like-minded people of goodwill. Groups formed alliances and multiplied their strength.
“Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance”.-Robert Kennedy observed
SO LET”S GO and do this right. Start writing those letters and making those calls.