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Unformatted text preview: nd the rest of the world dropping from them, they
resist the herd. For the mass of men duty governs a few relationships--to family and country--and even here
self-interest is camouflaged by the term "duty" in the phrase "a man owes a duty to himself." This is the end
of real duty. The average man or woman makes a duty of nonessentials, of ceremonials, but is greatly moved
by the cry of duty if it comes from authority or from those he respects. He fiercely resents it if told he is not
doing his duty, but is quick to tell others they are not doing theirs.
There is also a group in whom the sense of duty is almost completely lacking, or rather fails to govern action.
Ordinarily these are spoken of as lacking moral fiber, but in reality the organizing energy of character and the
inhibition of the impulse to seek pleasure and present desire is feeble. Sometimes there is lack of affection
toward others, little of the real glow of tender feeling, either towards children or parents or any one.
Though these are often emotional, they are not, in the good meaning of the term, sentimental.
 It is again to be emphasized that the most vital instincts may be lacking. Even the maternal feeling may be
absent, not only in the human mother but in the animal mother. So we need not be surprised if there are those
with no sense of right or duty.
Is the sentiment of duty waning? The alarmists say it is and point to the increase of divorce, falling off in
church attendance, and the unrest among the laboring classes as evidence that there is a decadence. Pleasure is
sought, excitement is the goal, and sober, solid duty is "forgotten." They point out a resemblance to the
decadent days of Rome, in the rise of luxury and luxurious tastes, and indicate that duty and the love of luxury
cannot coexist. Woman has forgotten her duty to bear children and to maintain the home and man has
forgotten his duty to God.
Superficially these critics are right. There is a demand for a more satisfying life, involving less self sacrifice
on the part of those who have in the past made the bulk of the sacrifices. Woman, demanding equality, refuses
to be regarded as merely a child...
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This note was uploaded on 09/26/2011 for the course PSYCHOLOGY 110 taught by Professor Kannan during the Spring '11 term at Anna University.
- Spring '11