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Privilege vs. right Fri, Jul 27, 2007
A home-schooled 16-year-old from Illinois was denied the option of playing high school football for the reason that "participation in extracurricular activities is a 'privilege' and not a 'right'".  While I dislike that argument, it's totally true.  There are a lot of things that we as humans (or probably more accurately, we as Americans) think are our God-given rights.  We have the right to vote.  We have the right to bear arms.  We have the right to play high school football.  We have the right to drive.  But actually, those last two aren't rights at all.  They're privileges.  Privileges can be taken away because of bad behavior or not granted in the first place. 

I think this has a little to do with this article about how Mr. Rogers ruined the world by telling everyone they're special.  A San Diego State University psychologist noticed that many Asian-born students accept whatever grade they're given; they see B's and C's as an indication that they must work harder, and that their superiors assessed them accurately.  American students, on the other hand, often view lower grades as a reason to "hit you up for an A because they came to class and feel they worked hard".  I can identify with this idea because I've done it many times.  I think it shows that I (and we) feel like I'm owed something.  We have the right to go to college, and we have the right to get good grades for doing our work.  The SDSU professor said he wishes more parents would offer kids this perspective:  "The world owes you nothing.  You have to work and compete.  If you want to be special, you'll have to prove it." #psychology


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