We care about our property rights very deeply. And, why not? It’s a part of our identity, heritage, achievement, or some combination of them. Property rights also spells something very essential, our material survival. We are naturally very protective of our property rights.
Yet, when we see a have-not, bereft of time, energy, or money, we think nothing of it to share a part of our ownership. We relax our tight hold over our property and property rights.
So, just because we are defensive about our property rights, we are not necessarily selfish! We are simply being cautious.
We are comfortable with this turn of events – our “generosity” – because it is entirely voluntary. So, when we relent, we have not turned a chapter nor are we a new we. We feel we are still in control because the right to decide to contribute out of resources we possess is also a property right. That has not been wrested from us.
Now, while giving as was described above is grand and good, it is not the whole story. There is more to give if we knew what it is and if we were willing to do so. Some of us are simply unaware of what else we could comfortably part with.
Therefore, the Giving Spectrum can be expanded to include the giving up of a certain right beyond the troika listed above. This is the right to try, to enjoy, to indulge in legal but addictive consumption and activities (say, alcohol and gambling) as long as we know when to stop, when to say that’s enough. Thus, what would otherwise engulf an addict, like a couple of pegs of whisky or a dollar hundred or two splurged on gambling in a random year, gives us momentary fun producing relaxation and relief. So, we see no reason why we should be robbed of access to such indulgences when we are never the source of problem because of it.
Yet our brother, mother, spouse, child, friend, colleague, or countrymen could find such open access very trying and troubling because they lack self control. However, there is no legal argument to stop avenues of access to addictive sites and substance because we who have self-control won’t have it any other way. We will not surrender our property right over the right to consume or indulge in activities with potential for addiction.
This is where we need to expand our giving horizon because while we may be sitting pretty, people all around, some very close to us, are endangered because they are short of willpower. It is because of our adamant position defending our inalienable right that other lesser humans are going to take a hit.
So, will we acquiesce and allow other fellow human beings to lead a more balanced, sane, richer life by rejecting for ourselves enjoyment of such options when it is deadly for people close to us? If peanuts are deadly to a family member, would we keep bringing it home because it’s not us who get fatal allergic shock?
So, the saner, sober members of the family and of the society have to do our part for once and for all remove the bane of addictive opportunities that have hounded our societies for uncountable centuries.
We need bilateral interdiction as with managing the market for drugs: change preference to change demand and change supply by affecting profit motivation regarding promoting harmful substances and opportunities. In words used in Economic parlay, produce a missing market with no takers and no sellers. So, there is no longer a tug and push among various parties. And it is better than Prohibition because it is voluntary!
So, while those steeped in addiction must cut themselves off completely from all types vices as well as access to convenient “watering holes” providing them, those around them should also do likewise simply because they are sound minded, full-hearted givers at every turn of opportunity. This is not really going over and above the call of duty. Given the endemic situation, it is the only option.