My Wronging Bell Is Ringing
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.
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 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?
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.