Do not confuse “duty” with what other people expect of you they are orderly different. Duty is debt you owe to yourself to fill obligations you have assumed voluntarily. Paying that debt can entail anything from years of patient work to a instant willingness to die. Difficult it may be, but the reward of self-respect.

There is no reward at all for doing what other people expect of you, and to do so is not merely difficult, but impossible. It is easier to deal with a footpad than is with a leech who wants “just a few minutes of your time, please- this wont take long. Time is your total capital, and the minutes of your life are painfully few. If you allow yourself to fall into the vice of agreeing to such requests, they will quickly snowball to the point where all these parasites will eat up 100 percent of your time and squawk for more!

So learn to say no – and to be rude when necessary.

Otherwise you will not have time to carry out your duty, or do your own work, and certainly no time for love and happiness. The terminates will nibble away your life and leave none of it for you.

(This rule does that mean you must not do a favor for friend, or even a stranger. But let the choice be yours. Don’t do it because it is expected of you)


-The Notebooks of Lazarus Long