The Goldendale Sentinel - Headlines & History since 1879

By Tom Lexow
The Dalles 

Conscience needs to mature

Letter from the community

 


To the Editor:

A Native American father taught his children about life with this legend: “A terrific fight is going on inside me between two Wolves. One wolf is evil, for he is fear, envy, anger, resentful, condemning, lazy greedy, bullying, hateful, jealous, dishonest, prideful, selfish, self-centered, corruption, and destruction. The other wolf is good, for he is faith, joy, truth, love, hope, wisdom, understanding, friendship, sharing, mercy, forgiveness, peace, serenity, humbleness, kindness and compassion, positive and constructive.”

The same fight is going on inside you and inside each and every person alive.

The children asked, “Tell us, which will win?” The father replied: “Whichever one you feed.”

Sigmund Freud, the father of modern psychiatry, was asked, “What human aspect makes civilization possible?” “Guilt,” he replied. Freud explained that the human conscience at birth is only embryonic in form. Like all else in infancy and youth, the conscience needs to be nourished, nurtured, and educated to help guide persons to a life of moral decency and become contributing members to their families and community.

Who is responsible to help develop the conscience? Parents, naturally, have the first chance to nourish, nurture, and teach the child right from wrong and common courtesies.

Schools and churches have opportunities to help expand adolescent concepts about choice-making—and, especially, that results can be more constructive when choices are based on positive attitudes, actions, and behaviors.

Without adequate understanding, a person’s conscience is likely to fail to mature. Then, instead of being helpful, the conscience can become ineffectual and fail to signal the person.

It is a fact that our jails overflow. It is the truth that the world is littered with angry, desperate, and dangerous people. The news and our history are full of conscienceless self-centered bully-tyrants with their dishonesty, corruption, crimes, and wars.

Albert Einstein, the famous scientist, said of this: “The destiny of civilization depends more than ever on moral forces it can develop … the goal is to raise the spiritual values of society.”

Jesus said: “Blessed are the peacemakers.”

 

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