ILCA Women’s Networking Group


Doing Your Duty by corumkeller
June 7, 2010, 5:46 pm
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By Christa Orum-Keller

Sometimes it’s easy to do the right thing. And sometimes it’s not…and that’s when doing the right thing matters the most.

I recently read an article on leadership, which talked about taking yourself outside of your own situation and really thinking about what the other person is going through, and then making the decision about what to do. Not a new concept, but it caused me to pause and think.

When you start your morning and are driving to work, what fills your mind – is it all the things YOU have to do at work, all the things YOU need to get done, all the places YOU need to be and all the benefits YOU will derive? Where is the room for the rest of the world?

It annoys me, and most supervisors and managers, when they hear someone say, “Well, that’s not my job…” My seven year old has recently been asking why he has to do so many things? He says, “Mom, you are being soooo demanding!” And I say, “Yes I am!” It’s not becuase I want to be the meanest mom in town or that I’m trying to be a downer of a mom, it’s becuase I think the world and the people we serve in it, demand that we step up to the plate with fortitude and DO OUR DUTY! And seven is a fine age to begin building the strength of character it will take to grow up to be someone who doesn’t take their duty lightly or considers it only when there is fair wind.

That’s not always easy. The world, our colleagues, our customers, our family and our children demand a lot of us. And if we are truly living a compassionate life where we consider the needs of others, we must be prepared to DO something about those needs. Sometimes that means waiting a little while to fulfill personal needs. Sometimes that means doing things we didn’t plan on or which aren’t in our job description. Sometimes it means bearing more than we think we can and sticking through it, not because it is fun, enjoyable or even tolerable, but becuase it is our duty and it is the right thing to do.

Yes, your mother might be demanding, but if we are to live lives of true compassion, then the world is much, much more demanding than she could ever be.

“People grow through experience if they meet life honestly and courageously. This is how character is built.”
–Eleanor Roosevelt

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