Freedom of choice. Freedom of speech. These are some of the rights that are rightfully granted to many people around the world. Sometimes, people take these many rights for granted and do not see the importance of each and every one of them. In your opinion, what right is the most important and valuable?
My right to be loved by other people. People not only love others but are also loved by others. By being loved, people discover their reasons for existence that act as propulsions of life. Family members who welcome you at home; friends who listen to your stories and cheer you up through hard times; and a lover who makes your heart flutter just by the touch of a hand. How beautiful it is just to think of them! I think that the right to be loved by others is the most important right of all.
Han Tae Won (’13, Civil, Environmental and Architectural Engineering)
Political rights. Democracy starts from the perception that people are the owners of the state. As a citizen, it is essential that people reflect their voices in politics through voting or election. A dictatorship such as the one in North Korea exists because citizens’ political rights are not fully protected. If political rights are protected, we can protect or rightfully retrieve our other rights through our own powers. Thus if I had to choose only one right that is the most important for me, I would choose political rights.
Nam Kyung Mu (’10, Earth Environmental Science)
I think that the right to love myself is the most important right to me. People generally think that our rights are protected by law; however, there are many cases in which our rights are infringed by factors outside the boundary of the law such as social perception, stereotypes, and so on. Thus, I want to be able to make decisions, starting from the small aspects of life such as what to wear and eat today and the big ones such as choosing my life values and future plans without the intrusion of others. I want to be someone who can love myself, and can love the choices I made. Yoon Ji Young
(’16, English Language and Literature)
The right that I want to protect the most is the right to say what I want to say and hear what I want to hear. In the past, many of the dictator-based regimes strengthened their dominance and oppressed the people by taking control of the media and banning rallies. This right does not only apply to big things such as the “country” or “regime”; it also applies to me as an individual. I consist of not only the thoughts I think of but also everything that I hear and speak. Thus, if I can speak my opinion and hear what I choose to without being hindered by external factors, it could be said that I can truly become “myself.” In addition, I will be given the ability to raise my voice against and fix things that are not right, and demand for my rights even in times when I am deprived of them.