Sunday, May 11, 2008

when does something become everybody's business?

i just wonder this because i've been hearing a lot of rights and freedoms talk lately about how whatever a person does is nobody else's business, and to be honest i find that knee-jerk freedom view very narrow-minded and poorly thought-out. indeed, perhaps it's less a cornerstone of my particular ideology, but the way i see it, it's easy enough to say that my actions are nobody else's business, but this is only true if they truly affect no one but me. arguing, therefore, that i live in a free country and therefore it's nobody's business whether i choose to recycle or not is erroneous, and this is an argument i've heard from numerous individuals whose judgement i had always otherwise considered to be sound. however, if we consider that not recycling has a negative impact on the environment, and that no one person and their material consumption habits exist in a microcosm, but rather as part of a planet with loads of other people and things living on it, can we really still say that the decision not to recycle affects no-one? if it affects everyone, can we really still say that such a decision is nobody's business?

i constantly see and hear so many people defending their rights to do horribly thoughtless and irresponsible things, because they consider it their "right" to do so. but if, say, driving a fuel-inefficient vehicle and creating an excessive amount of waste and, heck, leaving the faucet running while brushing one's teeth actually cause strain on the earth's environment (you know, the place where we all live that kind of sustains us) shouldn't the rest of the world have a say? it's like turning up your stereo so loud that it disturbs the neighbours: is it all right to continue to do so because it's a free country? don't your neighbours have the right not to be disturbed? don't the planet's resources have the right not to be overexploited? doesn't everybody else in the world, not to mention generations to come, have the right to a planet still capable of supporting human life?

seriously people, get past the knee-jerk "freedom" crap and THINK.

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