Friday, June 20, 2014

Unwritten social agreements

Today's topic comes from The Old Fossil. 

Several examples immediately come to mind, some large scale and some not so large.

Individuals in a free society have  the responsibility - it seems to me at least - to take care of themselves, be self sufficient and not a burden to the rest of society.  Sounds good does it not? At least until the fickle finger of fate, karma, god, God, bad luck or whatever  you choose to accept as the cause for an action that derails your train and renders you for whatever reason incapable of keeping that unwritten contract/agreement.  So now you cannot "take care" of yourself/family.  Maybe you lost a job, had a major accident, illness - the reason is irrelevant.  The fact remains you are no longer keeping up your end of the social contract.

The fact you need help then calls into play another set of unwritten social contracts - namely that your family and friends rally to assist you and help you get going again.  Put the train back on the track. Their help may and indeed does come in many forms - perhaps financial and maybe more important - emotional. I recently experienced a huge emotional; lift when 3 of my oldest and dearest friends simply flew to Texas to spend a weekend hanging out with me shortly after Lynn passed away.  It was he subject of a blog entry you may remember - Are we too busy for what really matters. I didn't ask them to come - they simply adjusted their lives and came. 

The most important unwritten social contracts are  those between family and friends.  Loyalty when it matters most.  And honesty.  The truth is always the best antidote - especially when offered in a constructive, positive way when the truth being offerd is particularly painful.

There are many unwritten agreements that are at play in our lives daily.   Our lives are essentially largely series of habits - things we do "automatically" without thought.  Its in our best interests and by extension society's as well.  If we had to actually think about everything we do we'd be thoroughly worn out in a few hours. The unwritten agreement to be a good member of society allows us to  take the pressure off of ourselves.

Then there's the unwritten agreement to have an LBC post up on time so I h-guess it's time to hit send. Time to see what the others have to say on the matter.


  1. Such familial agreements can be a bummer Shackman. You well know what happened when I decided to honour the unwritten agreement to take in my father when his second family made it clear that he was not welcome after his second wife died. I suffered for four years like I have never before or after did but bit my teeth and went through that experience. There were times when I was offered money by the family when I told them that I will send all the money they wanted and more if they would take him in and they would not.

    Sometimes, we just have to do what our conscience tells us is right despite the inconveniences that situations may cause and you went through your share of those in my full knowledge. I have held you in high esteem exactly for that reason.

    The pressure eventually gets taken off. One way or another!

    1. Of course - anything that is at the top of a list has the potential to be the worst, No argument there. Doing what is right is a prime example.