Friday, August 31, 2007

Rights, Responsibility, & Privilidge

As if it weren’t enough having to listen to all the talk about Michael Vick being involved in dog fighting, we are now subjected to the debate on whether or not he should be reinstated into the NFL when he is done serving his prison term. This potential three year conversation will be carried out for no reason other than to fill air time, sell papers, and reach agendas. The fact that Michael Vick fought dogs is a fascinating look into the power of culture, nothing more nothing less, and to have to listen to the will he or won’t he be reinstated is media hype in its ugliest form.

As I have stated before, we live in a forgiving society where we are blessed with second chances to prove that we are not the person we were when we made the initial mistake. It is also extremely relevant that we must also understand that being granted a second chance is not our choice, but the choice of the person granting the second chance.

This event has now turned into a debate about employment, on whether or not we as people have the right to be employed. The answer is that in a capitalistic society we have the right to seek employment, and I would even argue that we all have the right to be employed, but with rights comes responsibility. Our responsibility once we are employed is to become an asset to our employer, for they have given us employment. Part of this responsibility is to represent our employer, company, and ourselves in a manner that brings positive perceptions on our workplace. When we forgo that responsibility by acting in a manner detrimental to our workplace, then our employer has the right to sack us on the spot and find someone else that will do what we are not capable of. What is not a right of ours is to commit a felony, go to prison, and be granted our job back when we are done paying our debt to society.

Michael Vick is an employee of the NFL; he broke the trust of his employer by breaking the rules, giving his employer negative publicity for his actions, and lying to his boss. It is not his decision, nor is it the decision of the public to say he should be reinstated. His right to work is not in jeopardy, but his right to work for the same employer he disrespected and embarrassed is.

Holding a job, high profile or not, is a privilege we have been granted. When we abuse our privileges we are no longer in a position to demand anything, for we have given nothing positive in return. If you think that Michael Vick deserves to be reinstated into the NFL then I urge you to embarrass your employer, smear the name of the company you work for, go to jail, and see how many people are fighting for you to return to your original position. Employment and second chances are very similar; they are earned rights not demanded rights.

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