The flip side of rights

Whenever I hear we Americans screaming about our rights, I cannot help but think of what Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn had to say about such rights.
The Soviet dissident who won the Nobel Prize in Literature after the publication of “The Gulag Archipelago” cautioned about focusing on the individual’s rights while ignoring the individual’s duty.
“The defense of individual rights,” he wrote, “has reached such extremes as to make society as a whole defenseless against certain individuals. It is time, in the West, to defend not so much human rights as human obligations.”
The theme of human obligations to one another is central in Solzhenitsyn’s writings and in his public addresses. “After the Western ideal of unlimited freedom,” he said, “after the Marxist concept of freedom as acceptance of the yoke of necessity—here is the true Christian definition of freedom. Freedom is self-restriction! Restriction of the self for the sake of others!”
We don’t hear “the sake of others” in current debates against mask-wearing or vaccinations, do we?
Quite the opposite.

Ed Ackerman