Tues. Mar. 26th, 2019 – other obligations

Cool and damp this am. Didn’t get to the weather station batteries.

Obligations. Where do they come from, how do we assume them? How do we know we have them? I guess it’s a bit like the definition of pornography- you know it when you see it.

Jerry Pournelle used to wonder where his apparent obligation to provide money for welfare and social services came from. Of course, what happened there was that someone ELSE obligated him.

I’m thinking more of self imposed obligations, or the obligations of history and tradition. What were the King’s obligations, and where did they come from?

What are our obligations in an emergency or disaster? With state licensing, some medical people assume an obligation to help strangers, they have a ‘duty to aid’. Some people assume a ‘duty of care’. Recently someone proposed legislating a ‘duty’ to provide aid after no one stopped to help an injured person. We argued a bit in CERT training if as actual first responders we were now obligated to help. (CERT’s official policy is that your responsibility is to yourself, your family, and your community, in that order. Harris County TX, in the person of the Fire Dept official who was training us, said that we DID have a duty to respond. We were obligated to help by virtue of our training, and the recognition of our somewhat elevated status (we get id cards and vehicle stickers.))

I feel a number of obligations every day. Today, I have the obligation of honoring the life of another family member whose time among us has ended. She was a distant relative, but a constant part of our lives, as all of our family was close when I was growing up. She had an exceptional personality, full of light, curiosity, and intelligence and it was a joy to see her. She seemed perfectly suited and content with her role in the family, community, and life.

So where did I get the obligation to put everything in my busy life on hold and spend time and money traveling to her wake and funeral? I don’t know, but I feel it deeply.

n

(all this is by way of saying, I’m scrambling to get things done before taking the trip on Thursday. Commenting will therefore be lighter, and posts might be late Fri and Sat.)