An hour a day

Day 2 – Duty

Dear Journal.

It sure feels strange writing that. Master said I should write like I was talking to my best friend. How sad is that? My best friend is a empty book!

Master said I should focus on the word “Duty” today as I write. I’m eleven years old – what do I know about duty? Obedience – now that’s something I know about. When my mom or master tell me to do something, I do it.

Duty. Is it like responsibility? I’m responsible for taking care of Master’s pet ferret, even if Master doesn’t remind me. Is it my duty to take care of Jim? It doesn’t seem like it, it’s just my job.

Is it my obligation? My mother signed a contract and now I’m obligated to stay here and work for Master for ten years. Is it my duty to not run away and break my mothers obligation?

Maybe it’s keeping safe the things that Master has put me in charge of. Keeping Jim safe. Being careful with Master’s treasures when I clean them. Is it my duty to be careful?

Maybe duty is more of an inside thing. Maybe duty is more about why I do things. An I obedient because I’m afraid of being punished, or because I feel a sense of duty? I think I’m obedient because it’s the right thing to do.

When I’m responsible for something, or something has been put in my care, I feel a need to honor that responsibility or charge. It is not because I have to, or because I fear the consequences, it’s because if I don’t, it will be my honor that suffers –  my own self-worth.

I have duties, but more importantly I feel a sense of duty to do the things that have been given to me to do. If I have a sense of duty to do something, then how can I complain about doing it? If my honor demands that I do something, how can I do anything less that put my whole heart into the task?

Do I feel like I have duties or just jobs? Is what I’m doing important or just something no one else want’s to do? Am I proud of my work or am I just trying to get by?

Good question, Master. I don’t know the answer yet.


3 Responses to “Day 2 – Duty”

  1. DavidVS says:

    Hi again, Brian,

    I guess I should have put my comment about the word “duty” here instead of with your first journal entry.

    You can disagree with me, but I’ll claim “duty” can’t be about how your feel towards or approach your responsibilities. That would be confusing “duty” and “integrity”.

    Some folks would disagree, and say that “integrity” is about honor, trustworthiness, and reliability — but not why a person do the jobs he or she needs to do. I would reply that “integrity” is about wholeness, and a person who has not found peace with his or her responsibilities lacks wholeness.

  2. Brian says:

    But don’t people talk about having a sense of duty?

    I see you point. When someone tells me that something is my duty, then it’s not about how I feel.

    Master didn’t tell me it was my duty to take care of Jim, he just told me to do it. It was when I started feeling like Jim was depending on me that I started thinking about it being my duty to do it well.

  3. DavidVS says:

    “Sense” is a word our language abuses. Sense of smell. Sense of duty. Sense of rhythm. Sense of compassion. Sense of honor. Sense of foreboding.

    Senses can be about feelings, temperaments, mindsets, abilities, or even other things — or concepts that are combinations of these!

    You’re wiser than what people talk about.

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