Life for My Dying Conscience

– by Rashmi Trivedi (author of Woman, everything will be fine!)
– Illustrated by Vanita Thomas

Sometimes in the dark of the night,
I visit my conscience to see if  it is still breathing,

for it is dying a slow death
Every day.

When I pay for a meal in a fancy place, 
an amount which is perhaps the monthly income of the guard
who holds the door open,
And quickly I shrug away that thought,
It dies a little

When I buy vegetables from the vendor,
And his son “chhotu” smilingly weighs the potatoes. 
Chhotu, a small child, who should be studying at school.
I look the other way.
It dies a little.

When I am decked up in a designer dress…
A dress that cost a lot,
And I see a woman at the crossing in tatters,
trying unsuccessfully to save her dignity,
And I immediately  roll up my window.
It dies a little.

When at Christmas, I buy expensive gifts for my children.
On my return,  I see half clad children with empty stomach
and hungry eyes selling Santa caps at the red light.
I try to save my conscience by buying some.
Yet, it dies a little.

When my sick  maid sends her daughter to work,
making her bunk school.
I know I should tell her to go back.
But, I look at the loaded sink and dirty dishes.
And I tell myself that it’s just for a couple of days.
It dies a little.

When I hear about a rape
or a murder of a child,
I feel sad,
Yet, a little thankful that it’s not my child.
I easily  look at myself  in the mirror.
It dies a little.

When people fight over caste creed and religion.
I feel hurt and helpless.
I tell  myself that my country is going to the dogs.
I blame the corrupt politicians.
Absolving myself of all responsibilities.
It dies a little.

When my city is choked.
Breathing is dangerous  in the smog ridden Cities.
I take my car to work daily.
Not taking  the metro…not trying car pool.
One car won’t make a difference, I think.
It dies a little.

So when in the dark of the night
I visit my conscience
And find it still breathing.
I am surprised for, with my own hands…
Daily, bit by bit, I bury it.

Yes, the Bible does tell us that our hearts are extremely deceitful.

However, the good news is that our conscience can be awakened, but this is only possible by Jesus who died for us, and His Holy Spirit lives within us.

He transforms our hearts to start obeying and loving! This is what God commands of us human beings, and that should be an outflow of our transformed hearts.

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