The Court of Conscience
Posted by Claude on Tuesday 5th April 2011 at 15:12:36
Scanning through the Sunday paper I again read the slew of reports that show that all is not well in the kingdom of South Africa, but that nobody has the courage to tell the Emperor that he has no clothes on.
The rule of law is that you are innocent until proven guilty. This means that although you may have committed a crime, until you are caught, tried and successfully convicted you are presumed innocent.
The fact that that act of criminality is morally and ethically wrong does not seem to militate against such criminally corrupt behaviour.
A morally upright citizen would ask of him/herself “Is this right?’ and would ask their own conscience to judge. By firstly taking any intended action to the “Court of Conscience”, one would quickly know whether it is right or not to take a certain course of action.
However, if people “sear” their conscience, then the only arbiter of right or wrong is the court system, which is an external decision making body, whereas your conscience is effectively your own internal court system.
It is a sad day when those who commit misdemeanors protest their “innocence until proven guilty” even thought the empirical evidence clearly points to the contrary.
What is even sadder is that those people are business leaders, political leaders and community leaders, the very ones who should “lead” by example.
As those of us who are parents know, children don’t do what they are told, they do what they see and similarly, as adults, we don’t do what our leaders tell us, we do what they do.
If this is the example that our leaders are setting, and their followers are mimicking their example then we will slowly but surely unravel the fabric of our society.
My challenge to all leaders before considering a contentious course of action is to first take it to the “Court of Conscience”, and make your decision based on the judgement passed there, rather than calculate what the odds are of getting caught, prosecuted and convicted.
If you are not sure, a good place to start is to ask yourself “If my mother knew and understood what I am planning, would she approve?”
You have the power and freedom to make choices. Let your “Court of Conscience” help you make responsible, moral, ethical and wise choices.
That is what our country needs.
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