Have you ever met someone who seemed to have no conscience? They are able to say or do whatever they want without guilt, fear, or concern for the consequences. I have worked with and for people like that and it was an astonishing view into a thought process I had never experienced. They broke the law or bent the rules to the point of fraud and thought nothing of it. “No big deal, that’s how business works.” One boss actually told me to wise up, that I would never do anything of value with such a strong conscience.
My mind was blown, my respect was gone, and I realized I may experience more of this in my lifetime than I ever would care to believe. Having dealt with this type of person I unfortunately have a trained ‘radar’ for a lack of conscience. Some people would call it cynicism others would call it wisdom. Either way I have learned to ask REALLY good questions to ferret out the truth. I pay attention and let my inner compass guide me regardless of what others are saying or doing.
A healthy conscience is our ability to not do what we know to be wrong. It prevents us from breaking the rules, even if no one will find out. Our conscience is the tool we rely on to fortify our character and the tool others trust that we are exercising to prevent us from doing bad things. Without a conscience our internal compass is broken and we flit from bad thing to even worse actions with no remorse. No one gets anywhere without a functioning compass, if they do land somewhere it is usually not a good place to land.
“Labor to keep alive” that internal voice that is telling you right from wrong. When something tells you to be careful, listen. When your spidey sense goes off, pay attention. When your inner voice tells you to run, do it. Trust yourself enough to know that what you can get away with is not usually the way to get things done. Right is right, wrong is wrong, and navigating the grey areas in between is the difference between solid personal character and a possible jail sentence, fraud or disgrace. The choice is ours to make every single day; when we keep listening and act accordingly our conscience leads us in the right direction.