In my previous article, Happiness is Overrated, I argued the mark of being alive was misery and not happiness and finding the light in darkness is our greatest task of living. Today, I expand that argument to foment the idea that Love, as well as Happiness, is equally unimportant and overrated in our lives and that we must return Duty as our moral imperative.

Duty

Duty binds us together in a shared, communal, response against the argument for a selfish evolution that benefits the whole as a movement of joining without prosecuting the less fortunate.

Duty

When we demand Duty as the imperative force in our relationships — instead of Love and Happiness — we begin to form the everlasting core of a moral kinship that can survive the necessary betrayal of fluctuations in the hate and anger dyad.

Love and Happiness are fleeting emotions requiring the cooperation of others to find purchase. Duty is a private, neutral, state-of-mind. Duty is doing the right thing at all times; Duty never needs the cooperation of others because when you are Dutiful, you are already serving those beyond the public self.

When we contemplate divorce against marriage, fighting instead of living in peace, and killing over life, it is Duty that pulls us back from destruction. It is Duty that proves conscience. It is Duty that pauses our mistakes and paves the path to correction.

To give oneself over to the fickle moods of emotional states, and not to the grand moral imperative of Duty, is precisely how we fail into despair from which we cannot escape alone.

43 Comments

  1. David- Yes, ultimately we are in the service of the highest spirit (call it what you will) so in this sense duty is fine. However, since the Reformation and the Descartian separation of mind and body as well as inside and outside, Mammon seems to have been the major dictator of what most people seem to be following, and their “duty” is to this replacement. In the latter case, blindly doing ones “duty” may result in one’s karma running over ones dogma, and may account for much of the world situation..

  2. Hi fred!
    Gee, I just love that Avatar! I’m so glad you’re still able to login and post here.
    You make interesting points, as always, but Duty — as argued here — is of the fiber of the mind and body. It is impossible to separate consciousness from the living host. They must combine together to form a frame for giving the world, and life itself, context and meaning.
    Karma is generally misunderstood. It doesn’t happen in the current life. It pays off –- or pays back — in the next.

  3. Hi Sandy and welcome to Urban Semiotic!
    I thank you for your comment and for the fine connection to the Dalai Lama. Do you have a direct quote for us?
    Thanks for the compliment on the banner. They rotate. Which one did you see?

  4. David- Glad you like the avatar. Thanks again for all the help. Much credit due you.
    i guess “the times they are a changing,” although i don’t think this is what Dylan had in mind.
    i just can’t picture the Beatles singing “All you need is duty,” and being the number One group in the ’60’s. i’m sticking with “love.”

  5. David- Glad you like the avatar. Thanks again for all the help. Much credit due you.
    i guess “the times they are a changing,” although i don’t think this is what Dylan had in mind.
    i just can’t picture the Beatles singing “All you need is duty,” and being the number One group in the ’60’s. i’m sticking with “love.”

  6. Do you really feel it is your duty “to be fruitful and multiply?” Have you? Do you feel derelict in that duty you claim?
    Duty, as argued in today’s post, has to do with binding with each other no matter the societal strata or familial ties.
    As I also argued in today’s post, Love is overrated and unnecessary to leading a moral life. Love is a slave to it’s opposite dyad, its yang to its ying, Hatred. Love does not transcend. It condescends. Love requires Hate in order to receive its definition. Duty has no need for opposite construction.
    Duty has no yang. Duty is not a doppelganger. Duty is unto itself via genetic coding that must be accepted and allowed to place itself into action. Too many people choose to replace Duty with Love and Happiness and that is a grave misunderstanding of their role in the universe as a moral being.
    Yes, Duty is the only matter of existence as I argue in today’s post.
    The Master Race was about fear and conquering, not Duty. Duty does not need or demand power or fear or submission. Duty is the light that morally guides you through the night and in the daft moments of quiet indecision.

  7. Dave —
    I agree birth control pills fill the void when appropriate moral Duty fails.
    The over-emphasis on the value of emotion is precisely what burdens the human beast the most. We are slaves to Love and Happiness and “if we don’t feel it” we then build excuses for not serving our moral Duty to each other. If you Do The Right Thing as Duty requires, the rest of the appropriate personal satiety will follow.
    The Aryan Race was a myth; an ideal with no reality or conclusion. Hitler did not have blue eyes and blonde hair, yet he expected the perfected German youth to be unlike him? It is an unlikely disconnect that is as phony as the reasons for burning the Jews.
    I’m happy to have you disagree, Dave! When one takes a provocative position in an argument, the expectation is someone will step forward and argue the other end! Natch!
    😀

  8. Dave —
    I agree birth control pills fill the void when appropriate moral Duty fails.
    The over-emphasis on the value of emotion is precisely what burdens the human beast the most. We are slaves to Love and Happiness and “if we don’t feel it” we then build excuses for not serving our moral Duty to each other. If you Do The Right Thing as Duty requires, the rest of the appropriate personal satiety will follow.
    The Aryan Race was a myth; an ideal with no reality or conclusion. Hitler did not have blue eyes and blonde hair, yet he expected the perfected German youth to be unlike him? It is an unlikely disconnect that is as phony as the reasons for burning the Jews.
    I’m happy to have you disagree, Dave! When one takes a provocative position in an argument, the expectation is someone will step forward and argue the other end! Natch!
    😀

  9. Excellent post David!
    I see “duty” as a set of responsibility, an innate sense of right or wrong – which may be relative, because what is right for me may not be right for someone else. Though the ‘feel good’ factor comes as an after math; ‘duty’ is not triggered by it.

  10. Excellent post David!
    I see “duty” as a set of responsibility, an innate sense of right or wrong – which may be relative, because what is right for me may not be right for someone else. Though the ‘feel good’ factor comes as an after math; ‘duty’ is not triggered by it.

  11. Hi David,
    This post echoes thoughts about how great marriages or relationship are built and last. Each party shouldn’t look for happiness from the other, but should strive to give 100% of his or her effort to the other. If both parties look at their duties and less at their own happiness, the result will be more happiness for both.
    When happiness is measured, it will always come up short because we can always be happier. But, we were strive to fulfill our duties to each other, we will ultimately build societies that produce great happiness.

  12. Hi David,
    This post echoes thoughts about how great marriages or relationship are built and last. Each party shouldn’t look for happiness from the other, but should strive to give 100% of his or her effort to the other. If both parties look at their duties and less at their own happiness, the result will be more happiness for both.
    When happiness is measured, it will always come up short because we can always be happier. But, we were strive to fulfill our duties to each other, we will ultimately build societies that produce great happiness.

  13. Well said, Chris!
    There are too many people “who don’t feel happy” and so they then try to extricate themselves from the perceived chains of their unhappiness because, they feel, their individual needs have greater urgency and power than the dyad or the family or the job or the community.
    This flexible sense of morality leads to the disintegration of Duty and creates chaos and shock to the system of society.
    People need to remove happiness from their values system and instead fight to do the right moral thing when it comes to the benefit of the group and the clan.
    Only then can we begin to stand together to face the hard odds of the future — and happiness and even love — have nothing to do with giving us the backbone and the nerve to get there unscathed.

  14. Well said, Chris!
    There are too many people “who don’t feel happy” and so they then try to extricate themselves from the perceived chains of their unhappiness because, they feel, their individual needs have greater urgency and power than the dyad or the family or the job or the community.
    This flexible sense of morality leads to the disintegration of Duty and creates chaos and shock to the system of society.
    People need to remove happiness from their values system and instead fight to do the right moral thing when it comes to the benefit of the group and the clan.
    Only then can we begin to stand together to face the hard odds of the future — and happiness and even love — have nothing to do with giving us the backbone and the nerve to get there unscathed.