Recently, Olivia has twice mentioned the word duty in conversations with me. The first time in correspondence with her duty to her family, and the second time in correspondence to her duty as a student (learn as much as possible, in order to be secure in the future, etc.).
At first I was sorely repulsed by the concept of duty, so blatantly stated. I mean, come on, I’m going to do what I want to do, right?
The answer to that is yes, though it seems as if there are some strings attached. Notwithstanding my initial reaction to that four-letter word, if I look closely enough at myself, I do practice certain duties. Usually, they have to do with my personal being. For example, I have a duty to keep myself clean and healthy, and I do.
But what other duties do I have? Or rather, what other duties should I have? After some late night contemplation, I’ve concluded that there are 5 general types of duties that I ought to perform. From highest priority to lowest priority:
- Duty to myself
- Duty to my family
- Duty to my friends
- Duty to my neighbors and others in need
- Duty to society
Some duties to myself include hygiene, exercise, intellectual progression, dignity, satisfaction, and fun. Duties to my family include sharing the work in the household, compassion, and reputation. Duties to my friends include compassion, intellectual stimulation, and fun. Duties to my neighbors include compassion and aid when they are in need. Duties to society include voting, raising awareness to issues, etc.
Despite the obvious grammatical errors in the paragraph above, that concise definition of my duties is something that I have had trouble fulfilling lately. Even though Olivia recently (re)introduced the word duty to my vocabulary, I’ve been thinking about what I have and haven’t been doing, and ways to improve as a person.
Maybe now that I have a set definition, I’ll have an easier time of it.