Thursday, April 28, 2016

Five Duties that a Man Owes to Himself

1. The duty to hold himself on a level equal to others.

This is an essential duty, because a man who holds himself equal to others is being realistic. He comprehends that in every category of characteristic, knowledge and ability, some will do better than he while others do worse. He understands the playing field of life provides advantages to some and disadvantages to others. He realizes these circumstances occur in a manner completely outside of his control, so for these he takes no credit nor assumes any blame. He asserts his equality to himself and in his mind will have it no other way. As well he feels the force in natural law which indicates that indeed all men are inescapably created equal.

2. The duty to be honest with himself.

This duty is of vital importance because a man who is not honest with himself is pretending to himself. Pretense isn´t grounded in reality. Pretense is a lie and a man who lies to himself distorts the incomparable validity to his unique individuality. It is a crime against the self of major magnitude. Fear is the father of this crime. It is being afraid of oneself that fosters the lie of the pretense. The duty of a man to be honest with himself  often  requires courage, which itself is a critical part of the definition of what it means to be a man.

3. The duty to master his emotions.

Emotions are powerful. Without the steadying hands of thought and determination, they are inordinitely powerful. Without the constraint imposed by the power of reason, emotions become high risk factors that can lead to major regret. A man owes to himself this duty even if it is never entirely accomplished to his satisfaction. Reason is what separates us from animals; not to utilize its capacity to choose behavior and to regulate conduct is akin to high treason against the self.

4. The duty to do the difficult.

Self-respect is earned by accomplishing the difficult, and self-respect is a key ingredient to man´s spirit. This is why this duty exists. What´s difficult and why are personal and unique to every individual who accepts the challenges of the difficult, but all difficulties engender patience and perserverence. Nothing worth much has ever been gained by doing what´s easy. Practice comes to mind as an essential component in the accomplishment of the difficult, and the repetitions of practice are not easy.  However, nobody ever achieved any measurable level of competence by infrequent or sporadic application of the will.

5. The duty to enjoy.

Forms of enjoyment are many and varied, but every man by the workings of nature is tailor made to enjoy hobbies and interests which have personal appeal. These interests are part of the make up of the individual;  it´s a duty to cultivate these interests by enjoying the pleasures they afford.  Life is altogether too priceless  to discard into the trash bin those enjoyments only living can offer. If a man must dedícate himself to making time for enjoyable activities, this dedication is only fitting.  To do otherwise amounts to nothing less than rude and ungrateful behavior towards the spirits of life.