On My Soapbox - Duty and Responsibility

On My Soapbox

Duty and Responsibility



I read something recently that gave me pause to ponder.  It was something said by James Meredith  who  integrated the University of Mississippi and marched with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., during the civil rights movement back in the 60's.  Remarking on the Black Lives Matter movement and the current state of Black affairs, Meredith said:

"Citizenship. Not only rights and privileges are part of citizenship. Duty and responsibility are an equal part, and that's the part the black race has failed to pay any attention to."

What exactly was Meredith talking about -- duty and responsibility?  Why did he say Blacks have failed to pay attention to duty and responsibility?

My initial thinking was this: 

I think, perhaps, what Meredith might have been referring to is the responsibility to nurture and train up the children to be successful contributors to society.  It is our duty to equip our children with the educational and spiritual tools they need to survive with as few problems as possible. 

After more thought, I wonder if Meredith was talking about the duty of being a good person, a good citizen, a good example/parent?  It is our duty to be a person of good character, i.e., god-fearing, honest, trustworthy, and charitable.  It is our duty to be educated, to learn about the world we live in and how it works, to take our place in the world and contribute good to society.  It is our duty and responsibility to train up our children in the way they should go.  It is our duty and responsibility to help our fellowman. 

Or was it something along the lines of what JFK said so many years ago, "Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country"?

What do you think Meredith meant?  Talk to me!


September 28, 2016