With all of the chaos these days surrounding masks and vaccines, I see a lot of talk about what our “rights” are, and whether certain mandates might be violating them.
I’ve seen it laid out pretty clearly in a few places and it makes sense to me with two simple ideas.
If it is something you can change, it’s a rule
You don’t have to like it, and it might make your life less convenient, but any business can impose a rule if they want to. This means wearing shoes in a store, or wearing a mask if you’re asked to.
There are a lot of rules out there that I don’t like, but that doesn’t matter; if a business puts a rule in place, I can either abide by it or choose to go elsewhere. My rights are untouched either way.
If it is something you can’t change, it’s a prejudice
If the color of your skin, disability, or something else outside of your control is limiting what you can do, that’s a prejudice and is indeed a violation of your rights. These are known as immutable characteristics (“any sort of physical attribute which is perceived as being unchangeable, entrenched and innate” – Wikipedia) and they should never hold you back.
You may find yourself dealing with rules that you don’t agree with, but the difference should be pretty easy to understand.