I have been thinking of this for the past many months, as to what is the most important thing that I can say I have and which can never be taken away from me, except by my own will (or ignorance) and actions.
It is conscience….or tactically put, your intentions before you take any action.
As humans, we all are built with an internal moral compass. Over the years, this is influenced by your faith, beliefs, purpose, upbringing, environment and experiences to shape our everyday living.
Whether you’re the most educated of people in Harvard or Cambridge, or a tribesman in the remotest jungles of Amazon, there is this little thing that differentiates right from wrong, yes from no, and good from evil.
Is it a function of the heart or the brain or the soul?
Many criminal investigators will say that some humans lose this ability by suppressing this over their desires for instant gratification, which in extreme cases can lead to violence. This has been observed from brain scans of murderers, rapists and killers who don’t show much brain activity to reflect they feel anything. In science it is referred to psychopathy or emotional disorder where there are abnormal reactions to normal situations.
If anyone of you reading this can share some additional information on the science of this, it would be most appreciated. There are so many studies being done, to recognise and validate this ‘correction’ that is in-built in all of us from birth.
The heart and the soul are much harder to define, but I think it is a combination of everything. In situations where many give up, few strive on. And when others look the other way, some choose to face hardships to support the less fortunate among us.
What difference does it make?
Without a good conscience, our intentions will be skewed. Irrational and unemotional intentions lead to greed, manipulation, conspiracy and lies which are all unwanted traits in humans. And even more so, when you run your own business or represent a company that has some standards. Even the rule of law is based around the need to identify the intention of the accused not just the actions.
As global citizens and humans, it is critical that we recognise each other, and are open to accepting different views to our own, as long as the intention of the other person or group is good.
The global financial crisis and many of the political conflicts in the world today, are the result of lack of morals, intentions and conscience. When you start to value profit and power over people, then the end is bad for you, and worse for those affected by you.
Why do we need to recognise this?
Great leaders are foremost good human beings. They recognise the good of others, over their own. They don’t all need to be millionaires to make a difference, but many millionaires and billionaires have given back to the community to support art, health, education and other causes.
One of my personal favourites is Bill Gates – a genius with an IQ of 160 who brought computers to the masses, predicted major developments in today’s ICT in the early 1990s and became the richest person in the world; and then decided to let go of all of that to focus his time, energy and resources on building a foundation to eradicate polio and malaria and other diseases through sustainable programs that drive change in under-developed nations.
Anyone with the power to influence – actors, singers, corporate executives, political and non-political leaders should lead with conscience. Without which, they are just corrupted individuals who are wasting the opportunity to drive change.
What differentiates a Stalin, Saddam and Hitler from a Gandhi, Mandela and Lincoln is simply this? That trigger inside their mind, their soul and their body that is geared towards not only achieving good but through good means, instead of achieving success at all costs.
So, next time give your conscience a chance…you will be surprised how profitable it is !
Hope you find this interesting and if you have any comments, please send them to me. If you liked this, please share and keep the conversation alive.