Conscience: (n) an inner guide to the rightness or wrongness of one’s behavior.
I am discovering that my mind has become a garage, where I store all the memories and stuff that can no longer be used–simply because most of them are more than twenty years old.
Therefore, they are viewed as useless.
If you don’t believe me, just bring up something from the 1980’s, and look at the confused, frustrated and sometimes angry faces of the young humans around
you, who don’t understand that you forgot that “they weren’t born yet.”
So I have to be careful as I mention Jimminy Cricket. I do so because when I think of the word “conscience,” he is the pesky insect that comes to mind. He insisted that we should let our “conscience be our guide.”
Well, it doesn’t take me long driving down the freeway to notice that if the conscience actually does exist, it has not been evenly distributed. There are people who are courteous, and there are folks who only got the first part of the word: curt.
So I have to ask the little cricket if he could help me understand whether this conscience thing was there at birth, or if somebody didn’t need to hover over all living souls to make sure that they grew up giving a shit about anything but themselves.
Having raised a number of children, I can tell you that they do not arrive on Earth as human beings. They are actually more of a confirmation of Darwin’s theory of evolution–they are little monkeys who scream, wiggle, piss, poop and grab for everything in sight, until they are trained to escape a life in the jungle, and can be welcomed to Suburbia.
A conscience is not something we’re born with. It’s something we are taught–and hopefully taught so well that we retain it once we are no longer able to be sent to our rooms.
(click the elephant to see what he’s reading!)