Not Just About Me

Erzebet - Mio, Michigan
Entered on December 13, 2007
Age Group: 30 - 50
  • Top 100 Essays USB Drive

    This USB drive contains 100 of the top This I Believe audio broadcasts of the last ten years, plus some favorites from Edward R. Murrow's radio series of the 1950s. It's perfect for personal or classroom use! Click here to learn more.
  • Podcasts

    Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more.

  • FAQ

    Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more...

I believe is in having rights. I have the right of free speech, but not the right to insult people with my words. I have the right to listen to loud music, yet I do not have the right to disturb others with my loud music. I have the right to drive a car with a loud exhaust, but I do not have the right to disturb my fellow man with the noise. I have the right to wear whatever clothes I choose, but I do not have the right to expose myself and insult or offend others. I have the right to drink alcohol when I am 21 years old, but I do not have the right to get drunk and use it as an excuse for my actions. I have the right to own a pet, but I do not have the right to allow my pet to run loose and damage or harm your property and be a nuisance or a threat to others.

I have the right to smoke a cigarette, but I do not have the right to inflict others with my cigarette smoke. I may smoke in a restaurant, but you should not have cigarette smoke burn yours eyes, or have your meal taste of smoke. When you leave the restaurant, your clothes should not smell like a cigarette.

I have the right to choose what T.V. program to watch, yet I do not have the right to force others to watch the same program. I have the right to eat the foods I choose, yet I do not have the right to force anyone to like the same foods I do. If I like Chinese food and you do not, I should not force you to eat Chinese.

I have the right to receive a good education, but I do not have the right to deny others a good education. I have the right to have an expensive car, house or jewelry, yet I do not have the right to belittle someone who does not have the same things as I do. If I own a Lincoln Navigator (a $60,000 vehicle) and you have a two- toned mini van, I should not refuse to ride in your vehicle just because you can not afford a vehicle like mine. I have the right to protest, yet I do not have the right to disturb the peace. I have the right to burn the American flag, yet I do not have the right to insult the men and women serving my country, or the ones died fighting for my rights.

I believe that my right to make choices ends when your right to make choices begins.