The Inner Voice That Says It’s Wrong
An instructor in Casino Surveillance class was recalling a conversation with a coworker named Sam. He was curious. Sam seemed to be a decent guy. He was sharp at catching bad guys because he knew what to look for. That’s because Sam was a former criminal. People like Sam are referred to in the industry as cross-roaders.
My instructor’s name was Phil. He had been a dealer, a pit boss, a surveillance agent and a manager. Phil knew Sam’s past. Sam would tell him all the stories, the scores and the mishaps that nailed him.
But Sam was such a thoughtful and helpful guy. Phil just didn’t get it. So he asked...
“Sam, how could you be a crook?”
“It’s like this, Phil. After the first time – it gets easier.”
Have you ever felt this way when faced with doing something you knew was wrong? That your resistance started to drop? There was no sickness, no tightness in your stomach. There was no anxiety or feverish feeling in your bones.
Many of us don’t listen to the warnings. We become addicts, misguided violators, or just plain jerks. And not just towards others but to ourselves.
Where did that warning feeling go?
“May your conscience be your guide.” That’s right, I’m quoting a character in the story Pinnochio. Do we follow his advice? Of course not. At every turn, we rationalize an excuse to trespass or do ourselves harm. Why? Because it is in our nature. That’s why that tiny voice, that strong feeling, or the lightening bolt is there.
If we would just follow those wise words (all be it from an animation), we would be much better off.
Let’s look at a few examples:
- Stealing fruit from a tree – it was hanging over the fence and that’s public domain.
- Spreading rumors about a rival or worse a friend – I didn’t start it but it sounded true.
- Wanting your best friend’s love bad enough you engage – one thing led to another and I couldn’t help myself.
- Wrath – they had it coming. If it wasn’t me, it would be someone else.
“So all we need to do is listen to our gut?”
That depends on you. Will you listen? Will you turn away from doing the wrong thing? Or has misbehavior and disobedience become a part of your character? That makes doing wrong harder to break.
Misbehavior and Health
Besides getting shot by your best friend for messing with his girl, there’s risk off illness. How is that? Stress. Hiding damage you know you’ve done can cause you ulcers, disease, or other effects caused by your psyche. Being a good person, you will more than likely feel bad.
Have you ever lied to your mother, or a boss? There is overwhelming anxiety you’ll get exposed. The voice you hear in your head saying, “You’re going to get caught?”
Bad people don’t suffer from this because they’re in their element. They have been practiced in it like Sam used to be.
But a good person kills themselves with guilt until they let it go. That’s why it is better to listen to it ahead of time and avoid destroying yourself (either a little or a lot).
We must be straight with ourselves and others if we want to live a healthy life.
I would never take a bribe. I know someone else and my own character would suffer for it. But...
I knew people who looked at me like I was an alien because they would take the money.
I make it a point to get to work early or on time. I don’t want to let anyone down. So many others could care less and show up late. They only go somewhere else and start all over again when fired.
I try to avoid the wrong foods to live a better quality of life. Never smoked. Made my mistakes with alcohol early on. Others over eat bad food, smoke, drink, use drugs and have risky sex. On top of that, they get into fights – sometimes lethal. Who do you think foots the bill when they end up in the Hospital?
This is why you have to watch out for who you associate with. You don’t want to be them.
But there are reasons you sometimes do.
Learning When Young
There was an older boy that I thought was a cool guy, someone to emulate. I was 13 at the time and had always been shy. This older boy had a straight and husky frame. A handsome guy with a cocky demeanor, he instantly attracted girls. But there was a problem...
He was into drugs. Certain juvenile criminals hung out with him. Including one that attacked me - twice. Did I want to be like him after I experienced this? No. His image hit rock bottom after a short time.
Sometimes it takes a negative experience to come to our senses. We want so badly to have when we should be thankful for what we’ve got.
The Prescription: Avoid the Wrong, Do the Right
That same place in your gut becomes warm when you do something right for others. It causes you to feel better about yourself and encourages you to do more. Others truly are depending on you – friends, family and strangers (kind and unkind).
Your gut should tell you when you’re in a bad place. You have to overcome a strong desire to stop and move away. This doesn’t just take strength. It takes practice.
Character, just like good health, is something you mold.
Just like a proper diet there are some things we need to avoid. Good behavior is also a sign of wellness.
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