PREVIOUS: Deserving vs Rights #3
2. ACoA DAMAGE
3. HAVING RIGHTS (cont.)
Some rights are stated in our constitution – “that all men are created equal, endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty & the pursuit of happiness”
What is Inalienable ?
➼ The state of a thing, or a right not capable of being alienated – sold, surrendered or transferred – without the consent of the one possessing such rights, such as the natural right to be alive & be free
• This concept generally refers to the way a government is supposed to treat ‘the people’, although much of the world is run by regimes that don’t function that way.
It’s primarily a Western idea, but Anthropology, Archeology & Sociology, even Mythology, suggest that some ancient cultures also valued personal freedom, especially the matriarchal ones
• We may then make a comparison between the family unit & government – one group in the role of the authority over another group needing sustenance, guidance & support. Clearly, there are few governments & few families that respect these ideals
• The focus here, for ACoAs, is not about political rights, which are important, but being clear about personal rights, starting in childhood, which sets the tone for the rest of life. If we believe that human beings are born with certain fundamental rights, that also extends to how the family should treat their children. Again – one does not have to earn basic human rights.
THINGS we did NOT EARN:
• being born with certain abilities & genetic predispositions, such as musical talent, a great immune system, a head for business, being extrovert or introvert, physical stamina, a quick & clever mind ….
• lucky accidents – being in the right place at the right time – but – we would need to take advantage of the opportunity to receive the benefits
• outright gifts from anyone who values us (or needs a tax break, lol)
a. ‘Positive’ (recognized by law)
Most countries—though not the USA—have ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, which accords children a wide range of rights. These include, most centrally, the RIGHT :
• to have their ‘best interests’ be ‘a primary consideration’ in all actions concerning them (Article 3)
• to the ‘inherent right to life’ (Article 6), and
• of a child “who is capable of forming his or her own views … to express these views freely in all matters affecting the child” (Article 12). United Nations 1989.
b. Moral (children’s rights, everywhere) FOR:
• age-appropriate guidance, including acceptance of our human limitations such as mistakes, inabilities, developmental stages of skill….
• all our opinions & emotions to be heard
• being treated with respect, no matter what age
• care, nurturing & unconditional acceptance (love)
• encouragement, validation, praise
• opportunities for positive social contact : play, education, creativity, relaxation, hanging out ….
• be paid healthy attention to, with boundaries
• be helped with & allowed to develop a spiritual basis for our life
• feel as safe as parents can possibly make us
• know & develop our personality to its full potential
• not be exploited for parents’ or other adults’ benefit
Right to Pursue Happiness (from philosophy)
This is freedom of action.
To live, we must be able to choose our values & act on them.
To achieve values, we must be free to think & do whatever it takes to develop ourselves, (sometimes including self-defeating actions) as long as it doesn’t conflict with the rights of others.
To appreciate the freedom of developing our values, we need to be of service to our community / world, passing on our Rights
FOR ACoAs – Freedom means never being forced to devote our whole life to pleasing others – at our expense.
ASK: What qualities & activities are legitimate for you? especially those denied us as children.
ANS: S & I (separation & individuation) means we choose the best way to honor our True Self, no matter how much it conflicts with toxic family traditions & rules, while still keeping the best parts of our inheritance!
NEXT: ACoAs & Self-esteem #1