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The conscience alarm

Conscience is our ‘inner voice’. Vincent Van Ross writes.

india Updated: Feb 17, 2011 01:00 IST
Vincent Van Ross

Conscience is our ‘inner voice’. It keeps tabs on what we do and what we don’t and helps us decide on what is right and what is wrong. It is our ‘built-in alarm system’. The alarm goes off when our conscience perceives something we are doing as wrong.

But, this judgment is based on our conscience level.Our conscience level depends upon our upbringing.

Our parents and teachers play a vital role in this. Our environment and economic conditions have a lot to do with it.

How do we determine what is right or wrong? Well, what is wrong is wrong. Nothing becomes right just because we think it is right. There is, however, an urge among human beings to believe that whatever we do is right. But, the same may not hold true if the same thing is done by others.

The level of our conscience can be consciously increased or decreased. How do we determine our conscience level and how do we control it?

Every time we acknowledge a wrong as a wrong and a right as a right, our conscience level shoots up. And, every time we try to convince ourselves that we are right when we are actually wrong, our conscience level takes a dip.

We have the highest level of conscience when we are absolutely conscientious. One way of deciding whether we are really right when we think we are right is to determine whether we would have considered the same act or deed as right if somebody else had done it.

Conscience is like the tonsil in our throat. It warns us when something goes wrong with our throat.

We can get our tonsil removed, but then there would be no warning system in our body to warn us of throat disorders. But, that does not mean that all is well with our throat.

Likewise, we can ignore our conscience and do whatever we like. After all, it is just an inner voice. It cannot do anything if we choose
to ignore it!