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The Eastern Echo Sunday, June 16, 2024 | Print Archive
The Eastern Echo

Opinion: Students need to recognize the importance of their rights and liberties

Students often use the liberties they're granted without giving them due diligence and taking personal responsibility about how they use them.

Liberty is a very beautiful thing; it is the very foundation on which all of our lives as Americans depend. We are incredibly lucky to live under the very root of the idea.

To have freedom and to be able to exercise liberty is the greatest thing to be able to do, because from it stems many other amazing things and experiences. Liberty and freedom allow you to live your life as you wish - to be able to find yourself and what excites you. This makes life an exhilarating journey.

More importantly, liberty is being able to live your life without fear of government repression. It is being able to literally shout expletives in public about the government in protest, knowing you will not face any penalty for doing so.

We must never take this for granted or allow it to be taken away from us. We are so used to our freedoms and style of government that it’s easy to forget how amazing and unique they are.

But with this American individualism and remarkable set of rights comes great personal responsibility. We must be able to take responsibility for our rights and personally look out for each other, helping each other out voluntarily. We must be able to take personal responsibility for our actions and how we treat others.

To respect the individualism and rights of another person is to respect their entire being and existence; to respect the sovereignty of an individual and their rights is the ultimate acceptance of others. The true test of maturity is the ability to sit down with someone and be able to talk, no matter the disagreements, and to respect their rights and views. 

Liberty means a lot to me. It is very important, and I do my best to show that through my actions - through how I interact with and treat others. I try my best to walk the walk on freedom and liberty with how I carry out my duties as a student senator - I’m always open and honest, I keep student media in the loop, and I’m always available.

I try not to give off the vibe of not being willing to talk or mingle with students. I really do try my best to follow up my views and stances with how I live my day to day life; I back up what I say with how I live. Leading by example is the best way to spread your message and to get your views across to others.

We, as students and Americans, must remember to recognize and utilize our liberties by treating each other with respect regardless of our differences. We should all walk the walk, take responsibility for our actions and lead by example.