Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Dichotomy Du Jour

Aren’t dichotomies fun? Get comfy and let’s do this. Today’s dichotomy is, in no particular order: Obligation vs. Responsibility.

Yes they’re two different things, but I disagree with you in the back. You say that they’re two entirely different things. They’re not. That’s why we need our oversized magnifying glasses, to figure out where the sameness ends. I’m not sure.

If you’ve got an obligation to do something, you ought to do it, but you don’t have to do it. It’s the same with responsibility. Ultimately you probably get it done, whether it’s before the consequences set in, or after, whether you whine or try to weasel out of it, or not. It needs doing. You do it. It gets done.

There’s ethics vs. morality, but that doesn’t explain it. We’re each responsible for our own state of mind, but we’re obligated not to damage the people around us if we freak out. Raise your hand if you’ve ever managed that one. Me neither.

I’m stumped. This is going in the enigma pile; next to the question of if the little light in the fridge goes out when the door closes. I suspect, when all’s said and done, it matters about as much, which is to say not at all. We all have obligations and responsibilities, probably more than we’d like, and I still want to know what the difference is.

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