“All the great things …”

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

– Winston Churchill

Over the past couple of days, I’ve been thinking about the importance of duty.

By duty, I guess I mean fulfilling one’s obligations; doing what needs to be done. Dictionary definitions seem to draw a distinction between moral and legal duty, but I feel that there needs to be a third category, maybe called something like ‘practical duty’. The duty to do sufficient background reading for my thesis; to put the laundry on; to make arrangements for things that need to happen (like Freshers’ Fair stalls and interview locations).

It’s practical and moral duty that concern me most on a day-to-day basis – I’m not in the habit of breaking the law (although if I were, I wouldn’t advertise it on the blog). And I think that these will be my tasks for the coming term … do the job that is set before you. And do it dutifully, and well.

What’s your reaction to the word ‘duty’?

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