“A right is not effectual by itself, but only in relation to the obligation to which it corresponds, the effective exercise of a right springing not from the individual who possesses it, but from other men who consider themselves as being under a certain obligation towards him. Recognition of an obligation makes it effectual. An obligation which goes unrecognized by anybody loses none of the full force of its existence. A right which goes unrecognized by anybody is not worth very much.” — Simone Weil, The Need for Roots

Or, as Sarah Bakewell sums it up in The Existentialist Café: “…none of us has rights, but each one of us has a near-infinite degree of duty and obligation to the other.”

© 2016 Anindita Basu Sempere. 
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