“Human happiness and moral duty are inseparably connected.” – George Washington I have a conflict that has swirled around in my mind since I can remember. The conflict between duty and self satisfaction.
As a boy, raised on a small farm, I dreamed of the day when I would own my own farm/ranch. I would rise at dawn, work til dusk and find peaceful rest in knowing that I had extracted all that my body could give. I would worry about the price of beef, wool and lamb; whether the weather would cooperate with the farmers need for moisture and if I would have enough hay to carry my livestock through the winter.
Alas, my life took a different turn. I gave up the serenity of the farm to pursue a college education and experience the rite of passage from a boy to becoming a man that was my Mormon Mission and then to explore horizons far beyond the peaceful valley of my youth. But always, in the back of my mind lay that dream, dormant but entrenched, the dream of one day owning 640 acres (or less) in the heart of Southern Utah’s prime Mule Deer habitat.
Duty said otherwise. My need for serenity said go back to the farm. Duty said get book learning. My need to escape the fast lane said go back to the farm. Duty said a ship is safe in harbor but that’s not what ships are for. My love for the land said go back home. Duty said your not finished with your destiny.
At age 73 I have come to realize that my conflict was unnecessary. Duty and serenity are not mutually exclusive. I may never have the ranch but I can be peaceful and that I have, doing what is morally right.