Duty

The things of the world are ever rising and falling, and in perpetual change; and this change must be according to the will of God, as he has bestowed upon man neither the wisdom nor the power to enable him to check it. The great lesson in these things is, that man must strengthen himself doubly at such times to fulfill his duty and to do what is right, and must seek his happiness and inward peace from objects which cannot be taken away from him.

The Golden Rule exists in each of the world's major religions... Hinduism: Do naught to others which, if done to thee, would cause thee pain: this is the sum of duty. Buddhism: A clansman [should] minister to his friends and familiars... by treating them as he treats himself. Confucianism: The Master replied: "What you do not want done to yourself, do not do unto others." Taoism: To those who are good to me, I am good; and to those who are not good to me, I am also good. And thus all get to be good. To those who are sincere with me, I am sincere; and to those who are not sincere with me, I am also sincere. And thus all get to be sincere. Zorastrianism: Whatever thou dost not approve for thyself, do not approve for anyone else. When thou hast acted in this manner, thou art righteous. Judaism: Take heed to thyself, my child, in all thy works; and be discreet in all thy behavior. And what thou thyself hatest, do to no man. Christianity: All things therefore whatsoever ye would that men should do unto you, even so do ye also unto them. Greek Philosophy: Do not do to others what you would not wish to suffer yourself. Treat your friends as you would want them to treat you.

The sorrow for the dead is the only sorrow from which we refuse to be divorced. Every other wound we seek to heal, every other affliction to forget; but this wound we consider it a duty to keep open, this affliction we cherish and brood over in solitude… The love which survives the tomb is one of the noblest attributes of the soul.

It is our right to hate an evil man for his actions, but because his deepest self is the image of God, it is our duty to honor him with love.

Study to follow His will in all, to have no will but His. This is thy duty and thy wisdom. Nothing is gained by spurring and struggling, but to hurt and vex thyself; but by complying all is gained, sweet peace.

Let us have faith that right makes right, and in that faith, let us, to the end, dare to do our duty as we understand it.

Belief in immortality gives dignity to life and enables us to endure cheerfully those trials which come to us all. As the thought of immortality occupies our minds, we gain a clearer conception of duty and are inspired to cultivate character. Living for the future is not coward's philosophy, but an inspiration to noble and unselfish activity.

To pursue joy is to lose it. The only way to get it is to follow steadily the path of duty, without thinking of joy, and then, like sheep, it comes most surely unsought and we "being in the way," the angel of God, a bright-haired Joy, is sure to meet us.

It may be that, while we plodding realists go on, for ever preoccupied with our daily chores, abstracting a microscopic pleasure from each microscopic duty, your true romantic has the truer vision, and beholds, afar off, in all its lurid splendour and terrible proportions, the piquant adventure we call life.

Yet it is meet and proper that a nation should set apart an annual day for national giving of thanks. It is a public recognition of God as the Author of all prosperity. It is the erection of a memorial to the honor of him who has led us through another year. The annual proclamations which call to the duty of thanksgiving are calculated to remind the people of their indebtedness to God, to stir in their minds and hearts emotions of gratitude and praise, and to call out thanks and sincere worship which otherwise might not find expression. But if the observance of the day be not marked by real remembering of mercies and by real lifting of hearts to God in thanks, what blessing can possibly come with it?

Knowledge is the hill which few may hope to climb; duty is the path that all may tread.

Duty reaches down the ages in its effects, and into eternity; and when the man goes about it resolutely, it seems to me now as though his footsteps were echoing beyond the stars, though only heard faintly in the atmosphere of this world.

Reverence the highest; have patience with the lowest. Let this day’s performance of the meanest duty be thy religion.

That in which every man is interested, is every man’s duty to support; and any burden which falls equally on all men, and from which every man is to receive an equal benefit, is consistent with the most perfect ideas of liberty.

No man’s spirits were ever hurt by doing his duty; on the contrary, one good action, one temptation resisted and overcome, one sacrifice of desire or interest, purely for conscience’ sake, will prove a cordial for weak and low spirits, far beyond what either indulgence or diversion or company can do for them.

Let us do our duty in our shop or our kitchen, the market, the street, the office, the school, the home, just as faithfully as if we stood in the front rank of some great battle and we knew that victory for mankind depended upon our bravery, strength, and skill. When we do that the humblest of us will be serving in that great army which achieves the welfare of the world.

All destiny begins with thinking. Responsibilities connected with the present duty. Duty of which leads to the balancing of the thought. One of the objects of life is to think without creating thoughts. That is without being attached to the object for which the thought is created and can be attained only when desire is self-controlled and directed by thinking. Until then, thoughts are created and are destiny.

Every political society is composed of other smaller societies of different kinds, each of which has its interests and its rules of conduct: but those societies which everybody perceives, because they have an external and authorized form, are not the only ones that actually exist in the State... Unhappily personal interest is always found in inverse ratio to duty, and increases in proportion as the association grows narrower, and the engagement less sacred; which irrefragably proves that the most general will always the most just also, and that the voice of the people is in fact the voice of God.

The greatest happiness in life, I find, after all, to consist in the regular discharge of some mechanical duty.

There is no duty we so much underrate as the duty of being happy.