Where do your rights stop?
Yesterday we were at Walmart, getting a few things we need for our campsite. While I was in the restroom, a young Walmart employee came in and lit up a cigarette right next to me. Since I am severely allergic to cigarette smoke, my body reacted immediately. My eyes itched so badly I wished I could rub them out of their sockets and every inch of my skin began to burn with a severe itch. Unfortunately, I immediately began to get a hemiplegic (severe) migraine. Being asthmatic also, I had to use my rescue inhaler.
All of this happened because a Walmart employee failed to respect others around her. She appeared to be young, so perhaps she does not understand where her rights stop and others begin.
When I was growing up, a retired man (Mr. T) and his wife lived behind our home. My siblings and I often sat and talked with them. One day during a discussion about where our rights stop and others begin, Mr. T told us that our rights stopped at the end of our noses. He sent us home to think about what that might mean.
Mr. T simply meant that I do not have the right to do anything that makes an impact on others beyond my own personal space. I agree with Mr. T’s explanation of rights.
Each one of us has the right to make our own decisions about living our own life. We all have free will and can decide to smoke or not smoke. No one should judge anyone else, because we do not have the right to judge others. I realize that smoking is an addiction and difficult to stop, but I do wish that smokers would respect the rights of nonsmokers, especially nonsmokers who have health issues caused by second hand smoke.
I could have reported the Walmart employee to the manager, but I chose not to do that. Realizing that she probably needed her job, I decided to respect her need to work and let God deal with her lack of respect for others’ rights.
Please remember that your rights stop at your nose! Never do anything that impacts anyone beyond your personal space without his or her permission.