In class yesterday, our teacher said, ‘When a river stays within its banks, it’s doing its duty. However, when a river breeches it’s banks or levees, it destroys.’ I can’t help but think about how many people’s lives have been changed recently by the floods of the Missouri back home. Mainly in Nebraska, people have lost homes, livestock and their livelihoods. If the river would have stayed in its banks, none of these people would be going through this hardship right now.
When we apply this metaphor to our own lives, it gives a sense that we should stay in our own lane. Perhaps we should mind our own business and let others do what they will. Placing this in the context of our duty, we have to think about what our duty is. Our duty to ourself, family, work, society and to our soul should be given the utmost importance above anything else. In the modern sense, our duty is our bae.
Is your duty to make your husband’s tea every hour and a half? Is your duty to be a servant in your household? Is your duty to make babies and raise them to be a positive addition to this world? Is your duty to just exist? The only person that can answer that question is you. However, you don’t need to search very far for it because you could be doing your duty just by reading this post.
I used to think that my duty was to help people with mental illness and thoughts of suicide. I opened a non-profit and had a storefront and everything. After a while, I learned that was not my duty. My duty now is to be available but not get involved in people’s issues. I can’t help but reference again that I was the guy with the glass that was half-full but there was nothing in the glass at all. This reminds me a lot of the metaphor regarding the river. I was flowing out of my own banks and did more damage than good.
Although I didn’t lose a house or any livestock, I lost friends and look at that time as a very dark time in my life. I could blame people. I could blame circumstance. However, I won’t. I blame myself for not staying in my river banks flowing naturally down the stream. Rivers flow but also destroy.