My wife and I found a bunch of seals swimming with baby seals (and teaching them how to hunt), while walking down the Santa Cruz pier
It got me thinking about what our obligations are: to ourselves and also to others.
Some of us only have one of those categories come naturally to our personalities, and need to work at growing in living out the other one. But cultures as a whole also may tend to have one more come naturally than another, and American culture certainly is stronger in “what is owed to us,” more than “what we owe to others.”
But part of us is not our own.
Part of us is owed to our spouse, to our kids, to our parents, to our friends, to tribe, our city, our nation, and our world.
The Noble understand that what is right in the moment finds an ultimate harmony with the greater good. In the same way, they also observe that our duality of obligations (what we owe to ourselves & what we owe to each other) simply cannot exist in conflict.
If we owe something to our fellow human beings, then it is not something we owe to ourselves. If we owe something to ourselves, then we do not owe it to anyone else.
For one obligation takes priority.
The wise understand the priority of duty.
The virtuous obey its commands.
The ardent love to obey what is right.
The Noble are wise, virtuous, and ardent.
For more on living out the Noble Way, get a copy of Heart of the Phoenix today