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My Wronging Bell Is Ringing

Updated on October 17, 2017

The question, "What is wrong?", can have many meanings. It can be said with love, as a mother to a crying child. It can be said with caring, as a wife to a husband. And it can be said with innocence, as a child to a parent.

But, what exactly, does wrong mean and how do we know if our intended action will be "wrong" or right?

I'll narrow down what I mean by the word "wrong". I don't mean the kind of wrong that is inside-out day. You know the day you wear your clothes to school wrong-side out. And I don't mean the kind of wrong that you do unaware. You know those wrongs. The ones called things like "foot-in-the-mouth" and "don't-you-know-how-to-do-it?". The little things that you would never have done if you only known how "wrong" they would be.

Let me ask this, though--how many of you have felt that little nagging feeling before committing to an action? The feeling that told you this course of action was not right. That little intuition that says to you, "This isn't going to turn out good!".

How many of you neglected to listen to the feeling, only to find out later how right it was? And how many of you who realized later thought, "I should have listened". Some people call that little feeling the conscience, but I call it our "wronging bell". It's the bell that warns you before you do something you will regret.

Will Robinson had a giant "Wronging Bell"
Will Robinson had a giant "Wronging Bell"

Have you ever had your "wronging bell" go on the blink? Maybe you've never had one of those days, but I can tell you I have had them. I have times when I can't seem to do or say anything right. On those days I go home and review how I could have been more graceful, both in action and talk. Conscious thought seems to be working, but it has not been easy, and I still have those days--Just not everyday any more. :D

I've learned over the years that if I am uncomfortable about something, it's probably wrong. No amount of my sugar-coating it will change the outcome. But it's often hard to see clearly into time and follow a logical chain of events. This is why we often have to perform the civil duty of apologizing. It's our way of letting others know that we regret the outcome of our actions. We can acknowledge and learn from our actions and their outcomes. Apologizing is not wrong, it is a way of growing into a stronger and better person.

What we may turn into if we ignore our "Wronging Bells"
What we may turn into if we ignore our "Wronging Bells" | Source

What IS wrong are the people who have silenced their "wronging bell". The people who repeatedly, and without remorse, commit to actions that include lying and cheating. The "human" that seems to have forgotten he/she exists in "human"ity.

The mortals who seem to believe they have a touch of God in them. The ones who take for granted that they deserve everything and anything because they are richer, smarter, prettier or more successful than others. I have known people who actually told me they are superior and deserve better than others.

Greed and superiority are a bad combination. These two emotions can lead people to do amazingly stupid things. Stupid and wrong things.

If you have to keep the deal a secret, you can be reasonably certain that it is wrong. The only exception (to prove the rule) is a surprise party. Other than surprise parties, if you have to keep the deal a secret, it is wrong. The term, "secret deal", does not conjure up any pretty thoughts in my sweet head. How about you?

Mulan had a funny "Wronging Bell"
Mulan had a funny "Wronging Bell" | Source

I try to keep my "wronging bell" turned all the way up.  I want to be able to hear it over all the other bits of thought floating around between my ears.  I do not want to hone the ability to disregard my bell.  That would be the road to unhappiness for me. 

That little bell may get annoying, ringing again and again in my head.  But I'm glad I have it!  :D

When your kids come and ask you "what is "wrong"?" How will you answer. Will you give them examples of what they do that is wrong? Or will you tell them about the "wronging bell"?

Teach them well. Teach them the value of the bell. Teach them how to tell good from bad. Teach them to think for themselves, to look at all sides (including the other person's) and to treat others how they would like to be treated. Teach them the sacredness of life.  And teach them wrong from right.



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    • k@ri profile imageAUTHOR

      Kari Poulsen 

      10 years ago from Ohio

      Love back Charlie! And Merry Christmas to you and yours. Here's to another year! Hugs and Love :D

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Oh you are so wise for one so young and pretty too. Merry Christmas sweet k@ri and to lixxy too. Much love. Charlie

    • k@ri profile imageAUTHOR

      Kari Poulsen 

      10 years ago from Ohio

      dahoglund, You would think they are self-evident. Maybe some people's inflated sense of self hides the evident part? :D

      Hi Shalini! I couldn't agree more! We need to keep our conscience awake and alert. In uncertain times it is easier to not pay attention. We give ourselves excuses why we must stay on course even when it doesn't seem right. But, each decision we make affects us.

      dallas, I do not mean "universal wrongs" or to get into a philosophical discussion on what is wrong and what is right. That is the wonderful thing about wronging bells. They are individualized...and, as you bring up, guided by your up-bringing.

      I do think we all hear that bell when we do things like lie and cheat. I have had two friends who are "compulsive liars". Both have apologized to me for lies they told about me. Even though they were unable to stop them-selves, they knew it was wrong.

      Thanks for commenting! :D

      bettybarnesb, Thanks! We only need to wonder about it when we stop hearing it... :D

      trish, It can be such a little uneasiness, a slight tickle in your gut...that it can be hard to recognize. It does help so much to understand it! :D

    • trish1048 profile image


      10 years ago

      I can't begin to tell you how many times I've pooh-pooh'ed what was, in reality, my gut reaction. It took me years to finally feel it, recognize what it, in fact, was and then act upon it. I'm so glad I do, because it is 99.9% right all the time.

    • bettybarnesb profile image


      10 years ago from Bartlett, TN

      Interesting hub. Something that we normally don't think about and yet use frequently.

    • dallas93444 profile image

      Dallas W Thompson 

      10 years ago from Bakersfield, CA

      "Wrong" is a conditioned response and is subjective... One's mores depends on one's peers... A "universal wrong" that is wrong under any and all conditions is non-existent. I am not referring to one's religious "beliefs..." Even under the lens of religion: "Thy shalt not kill" is assumed to mean humans... If this is true, why did God command the Israelites to kill others? Is "killing" conditional? Is war "conditional?" If an intruder breaks into your house, is murder OK? Who determines the "wrong?"

    • Shalini Kagal profile image

      Shalini Kagal 

      10 years ago from India

      Would that the wronging bell rang more often in everyone's head! I agree with you k@ri - if one feels uncomfortable about something, it must be wrong. Like everything else, we need to keep our conscience sharp and on its feet - too often, it lies dying and buried under may layers of 'Never mind'. Thank you for a wonderful and very pertinent hub!

    • dahoglund profile image

      Don A. Hoglund 

      10 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

      It sounds like the old fashioned idea of conscience which if one believes in natural law theory is a part of all people. What the founding fathers meant by certain truths bein "self-evident."

    • k@ri profile imageAUTHOR

      Kari Poulsen 

      10 years ago from Ohio

      Mentalist acer, Aahhhh, that stomach glow...Yes, that's the time to opine. :D

      lxxy, I don't know how to present evidence without being biased. Even our logical progressions have bias to them concerning our individual similar experiences, or experiences we feel are similar.

      Passion is a wonderful thing to call your own. Don't ever lose yours. Mouthing off and faulty information are easy. But you know how to discern truth and how to control the ego.

      It is not wrong to have or to state your opinion. We do not have to agree with all another says, but we should have the respect to listen to their point of view. You have that respect and it shows in what you write. :D

      mom cass, It's unwaveringly accurate, isn't it! :D

    • profile image

      mom cass 

      10 years ago

      I taught my littles ones that little voice in your head! It tells you right from wrong everytime;}

    • lxxy profile image


      10 years ago from Beneath, Between, Beyond

      I'm personally internally struggling with every line I write anymore in much of my work--because I've long tiptoed around issues, but presenting evidence head-on without seeming prejudice is driving me crazy.

      It's not that I am inherently trying to be biased, but my work follows a particular dataset that I'm extremely passionate about.

      Mouthing off can come easy, and so too, could ill-conceived notions born from faulty information.

    • Mentalist acer profile image

      Mentalist acer 

      10 years ago from A Voice in your Mind!

      My wronging bell is in my gut and ever present,only when it suddenly changes to a glow do I stomach an opinion...;)


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