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The concept of 'duty' is obsolete.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

Sharing work.

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.







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Wed 10th Jul 2019 13:29

A lot to unpack in this one Cynthia and covers a multitude of events which it is sometimes good to get out there in the open. What a complex package life is. I met some lousy role model teachers at school. But I was also inspired by some of the best - people who had been on the retreat from Dunkirk, or had taken a bullet in the hip (after the landings at Normandy) and after only one sip of a hard earned brew. One phrase always remains with me from those times: 'Teach me delight in simple things'. When the simple things fail to inspire us it is time to Beam me up Scotty. We were always taught to help the blind people across the road and there were plenty of those around the Merseyside area I can tell you. Blessings. P.

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Cynthia Buell Thomas

Wed 10th Jul 2019 12:08

OH! HO!HO! And a bottle of rum!

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