The Rights Trap is the belief that your rights will make you free.It’s not hard to fall into this trap and become preoccupied with your rights as a way of getting what you want. You’ve probably heard since childhood that you have certain rights — to life, liberty, property, the freedom to pursue your happiness.In addition, it’s easy to feel that someone owes you certain things in a relationship — such as respect, honesty, or fair play.Unfortunately, rights exist only in theory. In practice, they don’t accomplish much — no matter how much people may discuss them.By implication, a right to something means that someone else must provide that something, whether or not he wants to. A right to your property, for instance, means that you should be allowed to keep your property — even if others want to take it. A right to a job means that someone must provide a job for you even if he prefers not to.Rights are invoked only when there’s a conflict of interest. Otherwise, there’s no need for them.One reason it’s so easy to walk into the Rights Trap is that it sometimes seems to be the only way to deal with a conflict. But that’s only one of three methods of handling such situations. You can:1. Rely upon your rights to get you what you want.2. Find a way to make it in the other person’s self-interest to provide what you want.3. Find a way of getting what you want without his being involved.
This is from American writer, politician and investment analyst Harry Browne from How I Found Freedom in an Unfree World (pdf here) as excerpted by the Daily Reckoning.
The article signifies a practical advice on how to steer clear of politics and concentrate instead on productive undertakings, read the rest here