Duty causes us to do things well, love causes us to do things beautifully.
There are so many things I could say about this quote [attributed to Zig Ziglar, although I’m not sure he was the first one to say it.]
On this Memorial Day, I am starkly reminded that I know nothing of duty. So many of us don’t. We sometimes in our self-inflicted, chaotic lives confuse obligations with duty. There are all these things we think we “have to do” that are really just obligations based on the course we have chosen for ourselves. And then there is real duty, defined as a moral or legal obligation, responsibility, or commitment.
There are so many men and women that have signed up – unprompted, and hardly incentivized – to take on a duty the rest of us will never know anything about. Today is for them, and yet even a small tribute feels so incompatible in terms of magnitude and depth it’s almost offensive to post anything at all. I, like so many Americans, am spending today on the beach. How can I possibly be qualified to say anything at all of duty and sacrifice, and loss and greatfulness?? I am not.
Writing this from the comfort of our Airstream reminds me quiet litterly of freedoms we have to pack up and change the courses of our lives as often as we wish. Most of us aren’t burdened by the wishes of others or weighed on by the duty to extend those freedoms to future generations. We don’t have a clue what the alternative is like. The only thing we can do is express graditude and not waste any of theses gifts we have been given, or the life we have been born into because of the selflessness of others.
I have absolute respect and gratitude for those who are serving or have served, but I truely know nothing about what it is like to put others lives in front of your own. Your comfort, safety, happiness, time with family, time for yourself, and simple joys like a home cooked meal are stripped away at worst, or delayed at best. I can’t possibly understand what it means to count down the years and months away from loved ones, or be on the other end of having no assurance that your loved one will come home at all.
I don’t know what it is like to trade a single day of these joys and freedoms for the weight and sacrifice that comes with your duty and commitment and real responsibility. But I do know that your duty is a beautiful thing.
Love and respect,
Kate + Adam