Are We Performing Our Duties? – Mhabeni Tungoe, HoD – Education



Ms Zuboni Humtsoe never gave up on her dreams. In 2011, she began her indigenous fashion brand ‘Precious Me Love’ (PML), with a capital of just 3500 rupees. Today PML has ventured into the e-commerce arena and has over 1000 clients around the country. Yes, Nagaland is marred with a plethora of problems. There’s illegal taxation, unemployment, bad roads, corruption, erratic electricity supply, and tribalism. However, none of these stopped Ms Humtsoe from doing what she wanted to do. The result of her hard work led Ms Humtsoe to be awarded the ‘Nari Shakti Purashkar’ in March 2017, which was presented to her by His Excellency the President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee. As long as we persevere and do our duty, achieving success is never a distant reality.

Are We Performing Our Duties?

Human beings are social animals, we don’t live in isolation. From birth, we mingle with other members of the society. Being a part of the society, each one of us is obligated to fulfill certain role expectations by executing work that our society requires of us. Every individual wants to live in a better condition; to enjoy life to the fullest with less difficulty. Hence, if we are to realize such wants, it is very important to play our part well in the society. Society is made up of a varied system. If we want development and progress for the betterment of self and welfare of the society, we need to perform our part in a responsible manner.
In life, an individual is required to play different roles. And as members of the society, it is our responsibility to play our parts effectively and efficiently. We are here in this world performing various duties that invariably come along with the role we occupy, such as parents, leaders, followers, students, teachers, politicians, social workers, government servants, etc. In every institution, whether it’s in a family, educational institution, community, government, churches, and so on, there are duties and responsibilities, rules and regulations, norms and conduct that we have to follow and practice as a leader or a member. In any kind of system, there are certain goals, objectives, and missions. Moreover, to achieve the goals, it requires the involvement of every member of the group. Numerous plans are prepared and implemented, and this requires cooperation. Cooperation is an essential ingredient in the functioning of any system. Every one of us is considered as an important part of the group in which we are a member.
Everyone has a duty – to be a responsible member of the society. But unfortunately, not everyone takes their responsibility seriously. There are lots of people in our society who do not know what being a responsible member means and these people are the ones who destroy the system. For in being a responsible individual, society becomes content and harmonious.
I want to share a story which has a very strong moral message about how each member has an important role in the well-being of a society. There once was a traveler who was travelling alone in a car. Suddenly, the car slowed down, sputtered a moment, and with a final gasp, broke down. There he was alone with only a screwdriver and a pair of pliers, miles away from a mechanic. He had no knowledge on how to repair cars. He lifted the hood of the car and looked around, but everything seemed in order. Then a passerby came along. He jiggled the carburetor and said, “Plenty of gas”. He placed the screwdriver across some electrical connections and he said, “Aha- no spark!” Soon he found a loose wire. One little screw had come loose, which caused the motor to stop running. Just as little parts of an engine are vital to keeping it running, every member of the society is essential to the functioning of a system. Failure to do our part may automatically hinder the whole system from performing properly. Our failure to work may result in the disintegration of the whole system. Our little part, if neglected can result in big problems.
Now, I want to request the readers to ponder on the following question: Are we doing our part? Being members of different systems—educational, grassroots organizations, business institutions, government, etc.—are we doing justice in performing our duties and obligation or are we ignoring them? In our Naga society, we have problems and issues that are there and will be there like in any society or country. It is part of life. We know that we cannot create or make a perfect society as we are only humans. Challenges and issues will always be there, whether it’s in the realm of family, society, politics, or culture, education, and economy.
This does not mean we ignore our responsibilities and duties. I believe that if every member of the society does their part well, then at least to some extent there will be a noticeable improvement, as well as concrete changes and development will begin to take place in our society. We talk about corruption and blame each other whenever problems arise in any area. Besides, we need to question ourselves- “Are we the ones responsible for the problems because we are not fulfilling our duties faithfully? Is blaming others going to do any good?”

As individuals, it is crucial to develop a sense of conscience so that we can identify with the society and contribute to its progress. And in order to do our part, it is necessary for one to be disciplined in every aspect of life. Without discipline, we cannot expect the society to grow. In any area of life, refinement and improvement of both the individual and society largely depend on discipline, since it enables us to be sensitive with regard to the welfare of others and correct our behavior, all of which contribute to an exalted sense of responsibility, respect for authority, love for orderliness, eagerness to discharge duties with regularity, efficiency and a desire to be agreeable and helpful to others.

Degree of Thought is a weekly community column initiated by Tetso College in partnership with The Morung Express. Degree of Thought will delve into the social, cultural, political and educational issues around us. The views expressed here do not reflect the opinion of the institution. Tetso College is a NAAC Accredited UGC recognised Commerce and Arts College. The editors are Dr Hewasa Lorin, Anjan K Behera, Tatongkala Pongen, Nungchim Christopher, and Kvulo Lorin. Portrait photographer: Rhilo Mero. For feedback or comments please email:

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