I’m a believer in a kind of osmosis; not only the transfer from the strong to the weak, but of the moral duty to help facilitate it. The acquisition of knowledge, wealth and other forms of power carry the responsibility to use them for good, and not as a means to exploit others. As a simple example, we instinctively know that an infant is ignorant of how to cross the road, so we would therefore prevent them from trying, regardless of whether they were our kin or not. Likewise, supposing that we came across someone who was unaware of the dangers of smoking, but who smoked regularly, it would be our responsibility to let them know and therefore have the opportunity to make an informed decision.
This position also implies that the use of psychological techniques for marketing and other such purposes is immoral. If the word “immoral” causes some kind of mental blockage for you, think of it as meaning “bad for individual and social mental health”.
Effort spent using power against someone is energy wasted that could be used to benefit others. This has significant implications for things like military budgets, and both the monetary and human (flora/fauna etc) costs of war.
A synonym for duty is job. For some people their job involves killing, harming or exploiting other people, animals and the environment, but this is not their duty. Our popular concept of what a job is is quite simply “that thing you do to earn money”. But earning money has no philosophical, moral or ethical basis, it is merely seen as a means to an end. When your job is meaningless or higher-purposeless in this way, it doesn’t matter whether you are performing executions, evictions or selling perfume, potions and elixirs, you’re “just doing your job”. In effect the modern, immoral form of work is a deliberate distancing of what we do to live and its effects on our environment and fellow inhabitants.
Your duty to your country is not to serve in the armed forces, but to preserve the diversity and natural wealth of whatever landmass you happen to live upon. Most man-made duties are immoral.
The way I have come to look at the concept of a job is as being a purpose for living. Nobody is likely to ever have selling car insurance as their ultimate purpose in life, which neither inspires change, nor is inspiring on any level.
Instead of being a money-making obligation, a job is something we actually want to get out of bed for, and to spend our time working on.
The moral concept of osmosis goes some way to helping us define or decide what our job is or should be. If we have acquired great wealth we should invest it in others, if we have acquired great knowledge we should share it. In the same way that a doctor is overqualified to be working as a taxi driver according to the old paradigm, many people, if not all, are overqualified when jobs are thought of in this way. Each person has their own particular set of skills and knowledge, plus the desire to expand or completely break away from them, which means that essentially no two jobs are alike.
By choosing a particular path, a particular point of interest you must accept the duties and responsibilities that go with it. To spend 15 years studying medicine but not to practice or to share the knowledge you have gained during that time is irresponsible. Therefore in order to live responsibly, to yourself and to others you must carefully consider the choices you make.
I’ve often struggled to fit the idea of who I see myself as within the European societal structures I’ve encountered. I saw my interest in being a generalist as a problem, because I had failed to specialise and have a career like I was expected to, until my mother pointed out that I was an expert at being me.
To neglect or to ignore your own fundamental characteristics is not only irresponsible, but it is a failure to do yourself justice and to live up to your fullest possible potential. It is the job (duty) of the education system to help guide and aid the students in realising their potential and managing the responsibilities that go with it.
Your job might be to simply study more for now, to gain more experience and to clarify your interests and strengths. In this way you can begin your work from a young age or much later in life, but in either case choosing a job represents a new stage of maturity in life that you must be sure you are ready to embark upon.
When I used to work for a law firm people would often see me drawing or studying or writing during my lunch break, and for many it was apparent that I didn’t belong there in an office job, but although I didn’t disagree with them, I just didn’t know where it was that I should have been instead.