All the great things are simple, and many can be expressed in a single word: freedom, justice, honor, duty, mercy, hope.
Let’s start off by acknowledging the fact that the word duty is funny because it sounds like doody. There is nothing wrong with laughing, all of the administrators have laughed at it while discussing the topic.
So this word has taken a new meaning for me over the past twenty-four hours. You see my wife and I are going to have a baby. Yesterday we went to the doctor to find out if we are having a boy or a girl and we ended up in a hospital room. Long story short, there is a small complication and my wife has to have a procedure done. The baby (girl) is going to be fine and so is my wife but it was a bit crazy there for a while between finding out we are having a girl and then that we were going to be in the hospital for several days and me having to go home to get clothes and stuff for our stay etc.
I am pretty sure I officially became a dad yesterday. I mean I have always been concerned for my wife and the health of my future child, but it got a lot more real at the doctor’s office. I am sure it will be even crazier when the baby is born but at that moment yesterday I felt a weird sense of what I imagine to be fatherly duty (again its OK to laugh) kick in.
Which is a great segue into the idea of duty, the main duty of men on my mind currently being that of family. I have thought about several ways to write this post and what I came up with is a bit of a flow of consciousness, so bear with me.
It is our duty to love…
our earth (again I sound like a hippy)
It is our duty to respect…
It is our duty to fight for…
what we believe in
those who cannot fight for themselves
It is our duty to reject…
stereotypes placed upon us
lies perpetrated by others to us
materialistic standards expected of us
society’s view of beauty, wealth, importance, and self image imposed upon us
It is our duty to learn…
by not repeating mistakes
by writing/painting/singing/creating something
It is our duty to pursue…
excellence over perfection
adventure over stagnation
work over laziness
true life over false life
peace over war
justice over evil
hope over despair
management of time over wasting time
abundant life over materialism
Duty, like honor, is not something that we do in order to reap some type of reward, rather it is something that we must choose to do even when we know that there will be no benefit to us at all.
We could choose to ignore our duties as men, to take the broad road, the road often traveled but in doing so we become ordinary, boring, like many others. When we decide to actually follow through, taking our duties seriously, then we become men, men unlike the others. We may not become famous for it, but we will become better.
Feel free to share any duty that you think I missed.