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Duty

There is one sublime word in the English language, and that is "Duty," and yet it is a word so seldom understood in its true sense, but is looked upon as a stern, unsympathetic master, to whom is attributed all the unpleasant parts of life; we seem to forget that we ourselves have made the path upon which we tread—that we make our own duty. If the meaning of "Duty" were fully understood, life would loose a great deal of its sorrow. It should, I think, be one of the first lessons taught to a child; parents are apt to say every difficult or unpleasant task is duty, and so must be performed, though it is really "too bad." Would it not be better if they explained to the child that it is on a long journey, at the close of which is joy and peace, and that the length of the journey rests with it alone. Every time it seizes an opportunity of doing good or of overcoming a difficulty it shortens the road, but every time it lets an opportunity slip a few miles are added on; and then it should be made to understand that thousands of people are following the same path—the path of Duty—and that it can try and help them on their way.

Helping, when you meet them,
Lame dogs over styles.
—Charles Kingsley

When once this has been grasped, Duty is no longer a stern master, giving us as many hard tasks as possible, but a series of styles leading onward, beyond this life—but they are styles of our own making, and the less we build the less we have to climb. "For in the field of Destiny we reap as we have sown."

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Dorothy M. Burt

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