Not sure where I came across this. Probably one of the founding fathers. Or Wealth of Nations.

The right to life is the source of all rights—and the right to property is their only implementation. Without property rights, no other rights are possible. Since man has to sustain his life by his own effort, the man who has no right to the product of his effort has no means to sustain his life. The man who produces while others dispose of his product, is a slave.

Bear in mind that the right to property is a right to action, like all the others: it is not the right to an object, but to the action and the consequences of producing or earning that object. It is not a guarantee that a man will earn any property, but only a guarantee that he will own it if he earns it. It is the right to gain, to keep, to use and to dispose of material values.

Does it ring true with you?

It does with me. It sums up self reliance.

You have the right to apply yourself to any endeavor. And the right to keep what you earn, develop, build or “create.” You did it. It is yours. Or should be. But you have no guarantee that you will earn anything. Your dreams and hard work may fail. But if they do, you have the choice to get back up and keep moving, working toward your desire. But if you fail, you have no right to the fruit of someone else’s labor. If they want to share it with you and help of their own volition, that is a different matter.

What is a right? And what is a privilege? Are we entitled to anything beyond an opportunity to apply ourselves?

What do you think?