The Pitfalls of Denying One’s Sense of Pleasure for the Sake of Duty

In “The Duty Trap“, the judicious School of Life addresses the hopeless circle of eschewing pleasure for the sake of duty and how adhering too closely to established rules of life can lead to a sense of regret.

When people are suffering under the rule of duty, it can be helpful to take a morbid turn and ask them to imagine what they might think of their lives from the vantage point of their deathbeds. The thought of death may usefully detach us from prevailing fears of what others think. The prospect of the end reminds us of an imperative higher still than a duty to society: a duty to ourselves, to our talents, to our interests and our passions. The death-bed point of view can spur us to perceive the hidden recklessness and danger within the sensible dutiful path.