To Speak of Duty

Early stages of the "Panama" painting from last winter. @SheilaLynnK Art Studio
Early stages of the “Panama” painting from last winter. AtSheilaLynnK Art Studio

From Fireflies in a Fruit Jar ~ John S. Workman

“We shall speak today of duty.

(Did we lose our audience?)

“Duty, It is a noble, if unpopular, word.”

‘Duty: a moral or legal obligation; an assigned service or responsibility’conduct due to others.’

“Duty.Responsibility.Obligation.Service. Heavy, words, indeed, guaranteed to chase many away.”

“Speak to me not of duty,” we fun-lovers say. “Speak rather of pleasure and happiness and leisure and license. Take your duty and peddle it elsewhere.”

“So it goes. but sometime, somewhere, someone must speak of duty. 

Duty, of course, has many names. One person’s duty is another’s “petty obsession.” One’s duty is another’s impertinence. To nominate something to duty status is to start an argument….”

“Duty has many lovers, few students, fewer servants. But there are, we contend, some indisputable duties held in common…

  • To be a faith-full people in an age when keeping faith is a seemingly impossible feat.
  • To be seers of beauty and joy in a world where wonder often is crushed by human greed.
  • To be encouragers of one’s fellow human beings.
  • To be strugglers toward love, pointers toward the way even though one may stumble awkwardly along the path.
  • To be, however frail and unfit, keepers of dreams and custodians of visions.
  • To be bringers of light, however small into dark places, however, large.

An old admonition remains: there’s a duty to be fulfilled, little children of light. Go forth and shine.” 

~“Fireflies In A Fruit Jar; On Religion, Politics, and other Wonders”      By A Southern Preacher-Turned Journalist.  John S. Workman With Sally Crisp. August House/Little Rock Publishers, 1988.


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