We live in a world today that we tend to justify our every actions because there is a need to be accountable. Accountability is a form of check and balance mechanism. For any normal human being, this mechanism is called conscience. Most of us start off with life maintaining a good conscience. At the heart of conscience is the many religions and teachings that feed and build the conscience in the human minds.
During the recent general election, our local representative shared with us how pieces of lands has been sold to representatives of the previous administration at outrageously low prices. When investigations are performed by the new administration, these former representatives said the government back then were caring of its people and have given them good rates for the lands in question. Very apparent, they show no remorse for their wrong doings.
This lead me to wonder, how can conscience be stripped so naked to a point where one does not feel any remorse for what they have done wrong. The answer did not come until quite recently.
A few weeks ago, a priest in his sermon spoke about how the norm shapes our mind. Speaking on the topic of corruption in the event of being stopped by the traffic police, it has become such a norm to settle the problem by paying off the officer. No hassle and cheaper. This is widespread and to a point has become the norm.
Indeed habits shape character and the more we do it, the more it is inscribed into our being. In time, we “forget” right from wrong or rather, the wrong becomes right. This is supported by the many justification given to oneself which is the easiest way out.
When we go for surgery, anaesthetic is most often used to numb the pain while the operation is performed. In life, justification and the norm can be seen as anaeshetic and agents for us to numb the remorse.
Referring to the corruption and injustice happening in many countries around the world especially the recent that happened in this country, the oppressors, the corrupt judges and all that have a hand in the act of injustice has chosen to silent their conscience. They have chosen to suppress the truth and their own compassion for reasons only they themselves know. The dynamics can be very different between a group of people versus an individual. In this particular case, there are 3 judges and collectively they have summoned the strength from each other to make a baseless conviction. Didn’t the Roman soldiers acted docile in a group casting lots for Jesus’ cloths? I am sure if singling one out, the situation would be different altogether.
First, a group of criminal will justify their actions and find affirmation in each other, they numb themselves with the norm and after the act, feel no remorse. The strength to suppress conscience cannot grow overnight and it needs practising as well. Because habits build character, these ruthless “professionals” must have been corrupt for a substantial period of time.