Less 'Me' and More 'US'
From half a page of definitions
'Responsibility' is the umbrella idea:
'That which is expected of you'.
In any functioning unit of society
'Duty' is what is 'expected' of the individual
With confidence and trust
To preserve and promote the interests of the whole
On whatever scale that might apply -
Local, national or global.
Such as 'the family' – commonly considered
The basic 'unit' of civilization.
'Duty' is a fine word.
I grew up with it.
Daddy did 'his duty' in the army
And sent us money for food and shelter.
Mummy did 'her duty' to bring up four kids by herself.
She was 'on duty' at the hospital.
She knitted stuff; and bought bonds
'Because it is a 'wife's duty.'
It was 'my duty' to attend school and do my best;
To help with my little sisters.
I don't think they had 'duties'.
Well - they had the duty to be kind.
Everybody had that duty, top of the list!
'Family Rules' that were unwritten
But definitely THERE.
Whatever the composition of members
A 'family' closes in upon itself
As a separate unit within its immediate society.
It operates much like a small business:
Everybody has to participate!
Logically and emotionally
It is incumbent on each person
To recognise responsibility
For the daily functions of 'living together':
Food, clothes, work, play, rest, cleanliness!
With fair distribution of the work load.
Jobs-chores-duties that must be done
Shared by all the members
With respect for each other
To ensure harmony within the whole.
It seems that in many families
The concept of 'duty' is obsolete.
The household runs on hired help
Or slave labour: 'Money' or 'Mum'!
Some adults have no concept of family fairness
They are domestic despots
And their children are bullies
Learning by example.
There's no such thing as a 'harmonious' family
Except under a tyranny of control
Which hardly qualifies!
Individual members disagree!
It's a healthy sign of any good organisation.
Of growing up – thinking for oneself.
Does any family have 'family meetings' anymore?
Around the kitchen counter, or table
Free to 'talk'
Discussing problems and strategies.
Compromises – rewards?
Talking – listening – arguing – agreeing?
Respectful of each other!
Children learn fast and deeply.
The first adults in their lives
Whoever they may be
Have huge responsibilities
To the sheer concept of civilization.
LESS 'ME' AND MORE 'US'!