Commentary, Local Commentary

Editorial: Edifying Vs. ‘Dark Side’ Rights

There is little doubt now that the City of Falls Church, our tiny 2.3 square miles, has to be considered one of the most desirable places to live anywhere. The newest study, reported on Page One of this edition, released jointly by CVS and the U.S. News and World Report, finds the Little City to be just about the very best place around to live.

The amazing array of healthcare-providing options in our immediate neighborhood combine with the great retail options, including food providers and restaurants and a weekly first-rate farmer’s market, recreational choices, ranging from the well groomed W&OD Trail with its dual bike-riding and walking options, and, of course, perhaps the best school system in America.

There are lovely churches and other places of worship, not completely built out but getting there, with pedestrian and other non-car modes of moving around, a local civic government that is talented and responsive and elected officials who bend over backwards to be accommodating to all varieties of human experience.

In the context of all of this, is there anything the Little City needs to be doing better? Housing affordability is our biggest single challenge. Civility factors within the population have been improving, apparently so. While many parts of the rest of the nation are challenged by an epidemic of incivility, it is not so bad here, and getting better. We hope we’d hear from citizens who have a contrary view of this, and what they are experiencing to cause them to think that way.

Notwithstanding that human nature brings with it dark sides for most of us, the sign of a truly humanistic community is that darker urges, those that would impose pain or undue limitations on others, are kept in check through a community-wide effort.

In fact, most of what counts for regressive policy these days involves the “right” of individuals to exercise their dark sides, from insisting on the right to carry lethal weapons, to the right to endanger the wider society by the ability to refuse to participate in public health regimens, to the right of groups to deny democratically insured policies to a larger majority through lying and fraud, to the right of a nation’s government, as a whole, to inflict death and pain on an entire people, as is now occurring in Ukraine. All of these regressive policies are rooted in the ostensible “right” of persons to inflict pain on others. No such “rights” should be tolerated.

As humans, our true, cherished rights are to peace and calm, to as much freedom as we can afford without encroaching on others, to contribute to the well-being of others by advancing knowledge and science to find new cures and remedies, and to exercise mutually uplifting acts of love, compassion and joy.

We dare say, there are an abundance of opportunities for that human, uplifting array of options to be exercised right here in the Little City.