Single Words Part Four: Duty

All the great things are simple, and many can be expressed in a single word: freedom, justice, honor, duty, mercy, hope.

-Winston Churchill-

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 wives

our children

our friends

our family

our earth (again I sound like a hippy)

our God

It is our duty to respect…

everyone

It is our duty to fight for…

what we believe in

the poor

the marginalized

those who cannot fight for themselves

freedom

truth

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 reading

by watching

by doing

by listening

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.

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Categories: A First Faint Gleam

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8 Comments on “Single Words Part Four: Duty”

  1. May 23, 2012 at 7:53 am #

    Let me first say I wish you, your wife and your baby girl all the luck and best wishes in the world. I hope all goes well. Sounds like you’ll make great parents. You’ll defaintly have lots of doodies to deal with 🙂 lol Nice blog too !

  2. curtisrrogers
    May 23, 2012 at 2:12 pm #

    thank you very much, we really appreciate it. Everything is going pretty well now. Thanks for reading.

  3. Ben Taylor
    May 25, 2012 at 10:02 pm #

    I like the idea that duty almost always includes incredible sacrifice and death to self. And when I say that I like this idea, I mean that it terrifies me.

    And then that makes me think of this:
    “But if the servant declares, ‘I love my master and my wife and children and do not want to go free,’ then his master must take him before the judges. He shall take him to the door or the doorpost and pierce his ear with an awl. Then he will be his servant for life.” – Exodus 21:5-6

    Do we get to choose our duty? Or is it already chosen for us? At some point, you had a choice whether or not to marry your wife. Your choice to do so radically altered the duty to which you are now bound.

    I really like your list, but I notice that some of the duties listed (like caring for the Earth) are necessarily our vocation as humans. Others (like being a father) are duties that we, like the servant in Exodus 21, choose for ourselves. These voluntary duties seem to be even more profound – like nailing your ear to a door profound – perhaps simply because they are willfully chosen. Hmm…

    • curtisrrogers
      May 26, 2012 at 9:58 pm #

      You know I didn’t even think about the idea of some duties being voluntary and others not. I guess I was probably being too introspective and thinking more about the point in life in which I am currently in as opposed to a person who has not already made choices such as marriage or having kids. You bring up some interesting points. Thanks for reading

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