Words of Wisdom:

"Effective Overpasses Effeciency!" - DemajhSals

Ambivalent Conscience

  • Date Submitted: 07/07/2010 11:43 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 69.2 
  • Words: 489
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“Err on the side of mercy.”   This reverberated in my mind as I vividly remember an experience that triggered much remorse.   I was driving along the highway once when I passed a man obviously in pain as a result of his motorcycle colliding with a car.   In a split second, I was faced with a decision to either stop and help the bloodied man or drive away as if I did not see him.   In that second, I was able to consider so many points – “I should do the right thing and stop the car and help him.”   “What if this is a set-up and I end up being mugged? – I shouldn’t be a sucker!”   “Gosh, I wouldn’t want to mess up this car with his blood!”   With that, I drove on, maybe faster than usual, as if running away from the guilt that was trailing behind.

That vision of the man in pain, a few meters away from his toppled-down motorcycle haunted me for days, and even weeks.   The story of the Good Samaritan who took care of a stranger unconditionally further drove me to the depths of agonizing self-reproach.   Lots of “I should-haves” nagged me, shaming me of my apathetic behavior of leaving someone in distress when I could have done something for him.   My ambivalence kept me debating with what is right or wrong. Christian upbringing taught me that I should have been like the good Samaritan.   However, having chosen the wrong decision of behaving otherwise gave rise to defense mechanisms like “You did what you thought was best at that moment.   You just protected yourself from probable harm.”  

Such incidences leave a mark in our consciences that can sear us for a long time.   These are critical moments when our characters and value systems are tested.   Having decided that what I did meant escaping responsibility, I became more aware of how I respond to trying situations and committed to becoming more righteous in the face of adversity.   To set aside my fears of getting blood on my hands so I can attempt to save a life may be a tall order for me at the moment it presented...


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