We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
Living in the Stanford bubble, it’s easy to forget what we have a right to, and what we are just lucky to have. People often claim they have the ‘right’ to do something, but the cliché has devalued the essential rights given to man.
Being human doesn’t give us the right to an education. It doesn’t give us the right to be able to afford college. It doesn’t give us the right to eat good dining hall food. It doesn’t give us the right to choose what we want to learn.
Realizing what we are actually entitled to as humans, not as Stanford students, is important for two reasons: comprehending our unbelievably good fortune to have the individual freedoms we do, and comprehending the unbelievable suffering caused when even those most basic human rights are taken away from others.
I hope this last weekend gave everyone a chance to contemplate not only the rights taken away from those affected by the Haitian earthquake, but also the rights returned to Americans by Martin Luther King, Jr.