Are our rights more important than our duty to others?

This is a thought that’s been resonating with me with growing repetition during the journey of the global pandemic here in the UK.

It seems to me humankind has become more and more inward rather than outward looking over the years.

As the restrictions enforced by the pandemic have continued, the more amplified our disregard for our duty to others seems to have grown.

By that I mean consideration of the potential consequences our actions can have on others.

Each week, local small patches of council green areas outside residential houses are scattered with litter comprising fast food wrappers but lately discarded alcohol bottles. I haven’t seen people having picnics on these areas so assume it’s household fly tipping by residents, or people returning from fun in the park with their friends.

Why? Each household in the UK has rubbish collection weekly. There is no need to spoil the environment for others through laziness and/or entitlement. If there is no public rubbish bin locally, or if there is one, it’s full – why can’t people take their rubbish home and put it in for their rubbish collection?

I don’t doubt this is happening in every part of the UK.

Clearly the thought of the right to personal enjoyment of the individuals dropping these items far outweighs any thought of their impact on others. Children play on these small greens. Pet dogs are taken for walks by their owners. Residents look at these green spaces from their windows – vital when housebound or shielding. Where is the thought for the impact on others – the anxiety and isolation caused by thoughtless, ‘my right’ attitudes?

We see this time and again on a larger scale when the sun is shining in the debris left behind in parks and at coastal spots. There is a huge cost in clearly this up.

We know the dangers to the environment of discarded rubbish which has been proven to get into our water tables and food chains. By discarding rubbish thoughtlessly instead of taking it home, those individuals are potentially affecting their health and that of the ones they love. Ironic isn’t it?

Isn’t now the time to start to think of our duty to consider the impact of our behaviours on others?

Thoughtful moment – Profits over health?

A feature on Aljazeera TV this morning – @AJStream – featuring the ongoing battle for truth and justice between USA and indigenous American Indians – resonated with me in many areas.  Guests on @AJStream included three people from different indigenous tribes who have been fighting against oil pipelines through their lands, poisoning water via toxic waste leaks.

 

Jacqueline Keeler, one of the guests and a journalist, explained only sovereign states can have treaties between them and that treaty is supreme law under the American constitution.  I hadn’t realised the indigenous tribes were a sovereign state – something I don’t think is known by many outside the tribes themselves.  Therefore, the treaties drawn us and written into the constitution are supreme law.  To ignore this position is to break the Constitution, isn’t it?

 

Joye Braun  – @joyem_braun – explained the ‘fake news’ oil companies put out through marketing such as the pipeline ‘will bring jobs and prosperity locally, the oil is needed locally, and it’s safe – no leaks for the past three years’.  Joye said the truth is any jobs are temporary, no money goes into the local community – instead it goes to oil companies profits, the local community doesn’t need the oil – in fact there is an oil glut right not.  The oil is sold outside the USA and lastly, the thing that resonated the most with me, Joye explained the reason the oil companies report no leaks in the last three years is because the oil companies got the level at which they need to report leakages increased! – so there have been leaks just at a lower rate than the companies have to report.

 

This last point resonated the most with me.  The Government in the UK at start of the Coronavirus pandemic promised a set number of daily tests by a set date.  When they were clearly not going to reach their target, they included all tests posted out to people.  So it seems all figures can be ‘fudged’ which we all know but is it right to fudge the figures when peoples’ health is in danger?

 

As Joye and her peers say ‘Water is Life’ – would you be happy drinking toxic water?

 

 

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