My premise is simple: all people are created with equal rights, and no one is inherently entitled to more or different rights than another.
If someone offers you money for your labor and you agree to their terms, that’s called a job. If someone offers you money for your labor, and you do not agree to their terms, but they force you to work, that’s called slavery.
If someone propositions you to engage in “adult behavior” and you voluntarily agree, that’s called having sex. If someone propositions you to engage in “adult behavior” and you do not agree, but they force you, that’s called rape.
If someone wants a product from you and offers you money and you agree, that’s called a sale. If someone wants a product from you and you do not voluntarily agree, but they take it anyway, that’s called stealing.
In each scenario, one interaction is objectionable while the other is not; the reason why is the same: when both parties voluntarily consent, there is no objection. If we are all created with equal rights and two parties voluntarily agree, then no third party has a valid right to intervene.
If a third party tries to interfere with the voluntary terms of others, then they reject the premise that all are created with equal rights. What those third parties are saying is this: “All are not created equal. I am superior to you, and I will dictate how you may interact with others.”
Many of the people interfering in the agreements of others also teach their children “The Golden Rule”. Ironically, the same people who instruct their children to live by the Golden Rule spend their adult days making excuses why the Golden Rule does not apply to them.
I have thought hard about this and there is only one topic where I feel confident that all 8 billion plus humans on this planet can unequivocally agree: none of us want to be forced against our will. Although we all have different conceptions of what comprises our will, the principle remains that every person has a will, and no one wants theirs to be violated.
It is this common understanding of not wanting our will violated that I appeal to. As the people of NY Waterway find themselves facing the prospect of having their wills violated as the mayor, city council, and some residents of Hoboken threaten to violate their will. Not wanting your will violated is a universal truth that applies to us all.
A funny thing I have learned about the truth: people know it when they hear it… even if they don’t admit it. They know when they are lying to others or themselves to serve an agenda. When they are violating someone’s rights in a way that they don’t want theirs violated. When they are violating The Golden Rule. When they are saying to a fellow human being: you don’t have the same rights; I decide what happens to your property.
I ask simply that you remember how it feels when your will is violated; please protect equal rights for all and do not violate the will of NY Waterway or its employees.