Is Duty Still a Virtue?

Love can do much, but duty more.
— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe


Is duty still a virtue? Centuries ago it was held in high regard. Today, it feels like a four-letter word. 

I define duty as an obedient, reverential expression to something or someone. It's how we express devotion. It's boots on the ground. It’s how we live out our beliefs. It’s how we live out our love.

Do we have a reverential obedience to anything today?  If so, emotion and feeling would be the dominant thing our culture pledges its allegiance to. 

Emotion, to be sure, is also how we express devotion. It’s also how we live out our beliefs. The only problem is that emotions are fickle. They come and go. If emotional responses are how we ultimately express love and devotion, what happens when we wake up on the wrong side of the bed?

As someone wise once said, “Emotions are good servants, but poor masters.”

When it comes to devotion, duty is what's required—emotions are optional. Of course, when duty and emotion synchronize, harmonious things happen. 

Duty is an asset. Emotions are too, but finicky ones at best. They cease to be assets when they take control and take over.

Duty is still a virtue... one worth adopting no matter how we feel.