There are two types of people in this great big world :
1) the ones who after just one look at them make me want to strike them over their face
2) the ones who are not them (refer to the first category)
I encountered someone from the first category a few weeks ago. Though this classification is based on first look (note that I am not saying impression) only and should be taken literally at face value.
And this person proved me right. After second, third and fourth and fifth impressions, I concluded that he definitely belonged to the first category. He was obnoxious and was testing the limits of my patience and temper.I wanted to jab the pen I was holding into his chubby hands. I did not.
What stopped me from doing that?
Was it because I wanted to make a good impression on him because he was going to do some work for me? No. The work that he was going to do could be done by any other official too!
Was it because it could have created a scene? I don’t think so.
Was it because of my Conscience?That sense that governs my thoughts and actions. Goodness.
I believe it was.
I have such thoughts sometimes but this inner control system prevents me from acting on them. Sometimes it curbs all my bad thoughts too. Wicked thoughts. Devilish thoughts.
We are a dissatisfied race. We are tempted to pride,greed, lust, extravagance, envy, gluttony, anger, sloth. The sins. But there is that inner something that guides some of us to the virtues.
Does everyone have Conscience?
What about those sick people we hear about? The ones raping their own children? The ones practising polygamy? Murderers? Shoplifters?Cheaters?
Are we born with it?
Or is it something that is taught or gained through contact with other people?
Is it an instinct?
An inherent quality?
Do you inherit it like you inherit your genes?
Is it God’s gift to a Chosen Few?
One of the characters on the very popular Law and Order (the original one) , of which I have become a big fan is Jack McCoy, the assistant DA. In one of the episodes, I forget which , he is prosecuting a man who is charged with raping an brutally killing his own daughter. Jack says,”Once I was sitting on the beach. I see this good looking girl with her back towards me talking to some guys on the beach. As every male does, I start thinking about her, you know, and then she turns. I am very eager to see how she looks. She turns and she is my daughter. I felt very sick, very sick of myself and never ever again have I thought of my daughter or any other girl that way. I had the Conscience which stopped me from acting on those thoughts. I had the Conscience which stopped me from thinking such thoughts again. Some people have Conscience, some do not.”
A Clockwork Orange : meaning that he has the appearance of an organism lovely with colour and juice, but is in fact only a clockwork toy to be wound up by God or the Devil.
Stanley Kubrick adapted ‘A Clockwork Orange’, a novel by Anthony Burgess for a movie of the same name. It is about a delinquent , an adventurous young man whose principal interests are rape, ultraviolence and Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. Throughout the movie he is shown commiting his acts of violence and then he is captured and put into an experimental program for reform and rehabilitation. The reform techniques are simliar to aversion therapy. He is slowly and steadily stripped off the ability to fight back. He is incapable of violence. Due to the effects of aversion therapy he becomes unable to enjoy Beethoven. He is then asked to campaign on behalf of a political party after his recovery. The film ends with a very graphic and a disturbing scene of Alex enjoying sex with a woman and applauding Victorian gentlemen and Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony playing in the background. It is as if his dirty deeds are accepted by the society.
To me the story questions whether Alex had that ‘Goodness’ or ‘Conscience’ in himself.
Was it forced into him dues to his aversion therapy?
Isn’t his ‘goodness’ artificial or made up?
Doesn’t ‘true goodness’ have to come from within (if it exists there in the first place) ?
Does it mean that Alex has not changed at all in the essentials? Isn’t his goodness similar to applying makeup so that your inherent blemishes on the skin do not show?