As humanity, do we have a conscience? Sometimes it could be opened to debate as we can easily point out many human beings who do not appear to have one at all. Mostly politicians, religious leaders, management and all sorts of criminals. Maybe none of them require a conscience to reach ultimate power and wealth. What about us, is it too late to develop a conscience?
This last decade will be remembered and talked about in history, perhaps as much if not more than both first world wars. We appear to have avoided another imminent world war and another Hitler, all made possible by so-called terrorism. We nearly lost all our rights and there are still talks about changing the Constitution. Some financial sharks got away with all our money and here comes a second great depression crowned with Swine Flu. Global warming, famines, genocides, the list goes on. This is the beginning of the new millennium, quite a regression for humanity.
The months leading to the American presidential elections last year were frantic, we all went wild fighting, to do anything to stop what we thought was happening, the worst case scenario for humanity. And we said things that today certainly could appear quite extreme. Now we have calmed down, even though all these events are still developing and we are far from finding lasting solutions. We have however the time to reflect on this period, and we wonder: what happened, or more exactly, what is it that we were actually fighting against? Why do we feel we have avoided the worst case scenario?
I just watched a powerful film called "The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie" with Maggie Smith (1969), where a teacher with fascist tendencies from Edinburgh led one of her students to her death in the Spanish Civil War of 1936-1939, and still could not see what she had done. And now I am wondering, what is it again that we all wrote and said while we were in the thick of it last year, and what exactly were the consequences of such fuelled political discourses?
To be honest I am a bit afraid to read again all those articles I have written in the last two years, I'm hoping I was not as extreme as I remember. I hope there has not been any consequence to what I felt at the time was like entertainment, for me anyway as I never took myself that seriously to begin with.
Have I caused the death of anyone in the last year through writing inflamed stuff in the heat of the moment? It does not really matter, or does it? Should one only write about peace and love, beauty and truth, moral and ethical things? Should journalists be more positive and suddenly it will be reflected back into human behavior? Or would no one read such positive articles mostly talking about happiness and joy?
The elevator for the heavens just arrived on the ground floor with one apple tree within, packed with the brightest flowers ever and all the saints of all souls. And the smell, as divine as god itself. Are you hungry for sins or redemption? A mea culpa is bound to come in at some point, for those who still have a soul. In short, is it too late to develop a conscience? One way or another, maybe we cannot win.
Some people have a conscience, it is clear, peaceful, they are generally nice people, and whether they should have a need for a conscience is a good question. Some others are cruel by nature, they could be described as monsters, and yet, they have no regret and no remorse. Can we say they have no conscience then?
Easy to classify them as psychopaths, or people with a soul who have no choice but to emulate the psychopathic behavior of their leaders in order to climb the social hierarchy. But what if they are just people like you and I? So easily we move from being good people to becoming evil when the right circumstances present themselves. Those circumstances don't even need to become extreme before we prove to be bad apples. Survival is a strong human instinct, you never know where it will lead you in the end.