Tuesday, 30 May 2023

Rights and Responsibilities Part 2: Travel

No one will deny that everyone has a right to the pursuit of happiness.  One of those pursuits may be travelling.  However, with that right, there should be some responsibilities.

Take, for example, the British woman (Samantha Orobator) who was caught in Laos with too much cocaine.  Never mind the legality of using or transporting cocaine, which she admitted to.  She had the right to choose the life she led.  However, when she got into trouble through her own fault, she expected her country to come to her aid.  Of course, that is why there are embassies around the world.  But, charities working on her behalf, rushing to her aid, getting everyone worked up about her rights, when she put herself in that predicament, was unbelievable. It wasn’t as if she was innocent and needed people to stand up for her.

Then, there were the two Americans (Laura Ling and Euna Lee) who crossed into North Korea and arrested.  They were reporters, so they should have understood the tensions in North Korea.  Heedlessly, they entered and it took Bill Clinton, the former US president, to intercede on their behalf.  Perhaps, the diplomacy involved may have helped not only Clinton, but US-North Korea relations as well.  On the other hand, it may have given North Korea an upper hand.

And, very recently, we have the British-Irish New York Times journalist (Stephen Farrell) who was kidnapped by the Taliban.  He had been kidnapped previously and rescued.  He was warned about entering the Taliban stronghold, yet risked his own as well as his translator’s life.  And, in the end, his rescue effort cost three people their lives.

None of these people took responsibility for their actions.  They do not seem to understand the adage, “You made your bed, now sleep in it.”  I have absolutely no sympathy for people who create their own problems, then expect others to bail them out.  They might think they were being heroic, they might think they were invincible, but I think they were all idiots.  When people do stupid things, they deserve to suffer for their irresponsible behaviour.  I have no sympathy for them.  I won’t say I’m perfect.  In fact, I’m not.  I make mistakes, do stupid things, and I face the music.  Why can’t these same people do likewise?  Instead, they get their fifteen minutes of fame.  And they make their governments look ridiculous.

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