What do you do when your obligations conflict?

In life, as well as in faith, we sometimes come across conflicting responsibilities. Today was one such day for me. Hestia is not only a Goddess that is at the center of the household and family, but also a Goddess that is at the center of community. When Hestia and her fellow Khronides accepted me as their dedicant, I accepted various Obligations as being sacred.

I have an obligation to family, to my oikos, and to ensure that my child is taken care of. Although this was already an obligation that I had accepted, this is still one of the Obligations that Hestia imposes on us.

However, as expressed in an essay from several years ago, Hestia also imposes an Obligation to work towards social justice and compassion. This is one that is required to be taught to our children as well.

When I was leaving to bring my daughter to school, I encountered a person who was looking for the local community clinic. They did not know that the clinic opens later than usual on one day during the week and on that day did not take new patients. (This person would have been a new patient). I called emergency services and then my daughter and I waited with them. I used this as a lesson to my daughter in how we need to help others.

Yes, this did make us later than usual in getting us to school, but is this not a needed lesson despite the conflicting responsibility?


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