Leaders: Can Rights and Responsibilities Be Separated?
September 7, 2016 Leave a comment
By Linda Fisher Thornton
This week I want to take a moment to reflect on the question “Can rights and responsibilities be separated?” Clearly they are both part of good citizenship and ethical leadership. But what happens if we try to separate them?
Rights Without Responsibility?
If we demand our rights but fail to live up to our responsibilities, we will have a negative impact on others.
If we assert individual rights without also taking responsibility, we are asking for more than we are willing to give. We are conveying that what we want is more important than what others want. We are demanding that our needs be met without caring about what happens to others.
Under those circumstances the answer to “Can rights and responsibilities be separated?” is “Yes, but not ethically.”
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