What Do We Listen to?

December 12, 2007
You know about the whole “angel on one shoulder, devil on the other” thing. Ok, so maybe the whole fictional character thing is a little much, but there’s definitely something telling you right from wrong. I believe everybody has a conscience.

Whether you choose to listen to the positive voice, the negative voice, or not listen to it at all, it’s there. Sometimes, we listen to it and the choice is a positive “don’t do this”. For example, it was summer, and all I think about during the summer is having fun. There were six of us and we were doing what we do best, being stupid. When the end of the day came, we thought we’d do something a little eccentric. We grabbed our swimsuits and our floats and started our little trip to the reservoir pond. About halfway there we noticed a set of headlights strolling down the road…the Wilmore police. We said we were going to swim at a friends house…it was 2:00 am. The group walked away, but when the police pulled away, they began running back towards the pond. I froze, thought how stupid it would be to go ahead with it, and turned around to head home. I knew the consequences. The next morning I found out that the other five, got caught. This was one of those times, where this little voice helped me out and I knew for sure I made the right decision.
So maybe I said no to the early morning swim, but sometimes the answer’s not so clear. Sometimes, this little voice is a constant back and forth blur of yes’s and no’s and you don’t know exactly what’s wrong or what’s right. About a year ago, a friend called and invited me to go shopping and I agreed. Unfortunately, five minutes later another friend called and invited me to attend the charity home with her. I had no clue what to do. I made a previous commitment with my first friend, but at the charity home I’d be giving back to those a little less fortunate. That little voice wasn’t so helpful because one was telling me to go buy things for myself and keep my commitment, the other was telling me to go to the charity home and help others. This wasn’t a clear right and wrong thing, but after much debate, I knew which would be the best decision. I went to the charity home to help. I did work out later plans with my first friend, so in the end I knew I made the right decision.
The realization of my conscience became most clear to me when the answer wasn’t a definite yes, and wasn’t a battle of not knowing what to do. I knew what I should have done, but sometimes we don’t listen to that little voice. No one was home to tell me “no” and my options were clear: leave and go to my friend’s house and suffer the consequences, or take the responsible highway and stay home. Blank expression on my face, fan whirring in the back round, I stood by the front door. It was like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hide, one minute the door was open, the next it was closed. I decided to follow Mr. Hide and go to my friend’s house for the night. The end result, you ask? Let’s just say I got a not to pleasant phone call from the father figure. So, this is one of those times, where, I wasn’t too happy with my decision in the end. Sure I had fun, but it took some time to earn back the trust of my dad.

Christopher Reeve once said, “I think that if we shut out all the noise and clutter from our lives and listen to that voice, it will tell us the right thing to do.” Some of us wont admit it, but when we do something wrong, in the back of our mind, we know we shouldn’t have. Sometimes it’s clear, sometimes it’s not, but that little voice is there. I believe everybody has a gnawing little voice in the back of their ear, but a lot of times we’re too proud to listen to it.

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