(Un)Social Obligations

How may times have you felt obligated to do something out of ‘duty’ even though you knew that you’d hate yourself for it? How many times have you been made do feel that you are not doing your ‘moral/social duty’ if you say NO to something that did not like or want to do?

This leads to the next question in one’s mind: Isn’t social obligation or doing one’s duties the same as doing good for the welfare of the society? Well,when you do something out of an obligation, you don’t do it out of compassion. You do it because that’s what you have been taught or asked or told to do so? Its like asking one to choose doing something she/he “wants to do” vs.”has to do because it is their duty.” No points for guessing the choice there!!!

When individuals are made to feel obligated to do a certain thing, a feeling of resentment arises within them, esp. if the act that they are obligated to perform cannot be categorized into a “good” compartment. For eg. lots of times, we are asked to put up with the Oh-so-obnoxious behavior of our kin just because. BLAH BLAH BLAH(fill up any reason), followed by it is just a harmless social duty. The moment these types of behaviors are put up with, it changes form from being a harmless social duty to a regular expectation and finally to a painful social demand. Nobody stops to think about how putting up or encouraging this type of behavior doesn’t do any good for the individual(s), the poor souls who are putting up with that kind of behavior and finally the society made up of the said individual(s), the poor souls and lots of other similar folks. These types of mundane social obligations makes one a prisoner in their society. Social demands inhibits our passion and compassion, thrusts unnecessary stress and expectations and reduces our freedom. The more severe and strict the demands, the more the restrictions and the less we are allowed or able to be ourselves, being, in the moment.

The funny(and not so funny, if you think about it) part here is though these obligations are called as ‘social duties” or “responsibilities,” there is nothing social about them. If anything, they increase the antisocial nature in rapid speed. Instead of that, if the society’s value system were to give each individual a functional purpose wherein they realize that the concept of ‘duty’ stems out of compassion and more importantly, their passion towards a particular action/deed/cause that ultimately will result in the good of the society. Every individual is different and their “good quotient” will also vary but if people follow their passion without being bound by dreary social obligations, our children and the future generations will live in a wonderful community and society where doing one’s duty will mean an entirely different thing.

~Laks

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