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- Jonathan Lockwood Huie (jlh @sail7.com)

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Wednesday, January 4, 2012

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Social Obligations

There are legal obligations, such as paying your mortgage. There are moral obligations, such as giving good care to your children and helping those in need. And then there are social obligations.

Often, others would like you to believe that social obligations are moral obligations, but the distinction is clear, and of vital importance to the joy and satisfaction you create in your life.

If you feel obligated to have dinner with your mother-in-law every Sunday, that is a social obligation. If you feel obligated to vote the way your father votes, that is a social obligation. If you feel obligated to remain in the town you grew up in, that is a social obligation (unless you are actively providing care to your parents or someone else).

Social obligations are perpetuated by habit. It takes real courage to confront long-standing social "obligations" - to call them what they are - and to break with tradition and make the tough choices that are best in the long run for yourself and those you love.

Focus on the "New" in New Year, and make today the day you choose to break old habits that no longer serve you. Make today the day to end social "obligations" that exist only out of habit. Face the possible embarrassment of telling your friends and family that you are now making choices that best serve yourself and your children - without regard to old habits and expectations.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thank You JLH, for all your positive,inspirational and wonderful writing, I read them everyday and shares them with my sister and friends.

Anonymous said...

You say - Happiness cannot thrive within the prison of Social obligation.

Live wild, Life free, Live as Master of your own Fate.

Jonathan, are you a Homeless person/rich person? That's the message I got.

Jonathan L. Huie said...

I appreciate all the comments.

The point of this article is not trying to tell anyone how they should live, but to encourage everyone to make their own conscious choices - as free as possible from the influence of family, friends, community, and cultural and religious traditions.

Choosing to live your whole life in the town you were born in can be a great choice - as long as it is a conscious choice and not an unthinking habit.

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