Stories: On Conscience

During a seminar I attended, leadership and management dimensions were being taught. Also, one result from the week's learnings would be the relationships that were developed between the student candidates and their 
assessors.

This relationship was defined as a mentorship. The assessor would take on the role of a Mentor and would serve as a guide and offer 'wisdom' to the student in the weeks, months and maybe - if it all worked as it should - years to come.

The mentorship was assigned, balancing the strengths of the mentor with the developmental needs of the student. It was believed that this combination would produce the best results, since the assessor would be able to help 
where he or she was considered best at. During the discussion on mentorship, and the relationships that would be established, I had this to offer:

While I believe strongly in the process - I have relied on Mentors to help me find my way for many years - I also believe that each of us has the ability to find the answer to many of our dilemmas ourselves. Our Mentor, assigned 
or not, may not be able to answer the phone, or the e-mail or text, each and every time we 'need' them.

Imagine yourself through a different paradigm: Your body is like a multi-layered sphere. It is composed of an external layer that everyone can see. This layer is the conscious layer. This layer is seen by all through our behaviors and it is both, what we project, and what is perceived. It is the 
layer that lets others know who we are.

The next layer is that of the sub-conscious. This layer is the realm of the dark. In this layer are the messages we don't readily see in ourselves. Years can go by before we, or others, can see them. Messages of fear and the unknown 
hide in this layer, along with others like anxiety, confidence, security, etc. They are often revealed in our dreams, or like instincts that surface, sometimes uninvited.

Underneath these layers lies another. This layer is occupied by our conscience.It is the place where bad and proper, evil and good, wrong-doing and righteousness battle. It is here where our actions are ultimately determined through measuring and evaluating.

In the Disney animated film Pinocchio, a small wooden puppet, brought to life by a fairy, is given a chance to prove his worthiness in order to become 'a real boy'. Because he is made out of wood, and not really human, he has no conscience to keep him out of trouble; so one is assigned to him. Jiminy Cricket, having seen the miracle performed by the fairy, volunteers to be Pinocchio's conscience - his mentor.

After many adventures, and many tests, both Pinocchio and Jiminy earn their goal. Pinocchio becomes a real boy and Jiminy earns the title of 'Official Conscience'.

Like in the movie, a voice like Jiminy's lives within the conscience level of our being. When we do something good, we know it because the little voice tells us "you did good. You feel good." When we make a mistake, such as yelling at 
someone without proper reason or need, we also know it; the little voice inside saying " I should not have done that. It was wrong. I don't feel right about it."

The way our conscience reveals itself is as varied as we are. Yet, we can all identify with the little voice. Our internal mentor. While it is worthwhile to have mentors to help us see issues from different perspectives, we sometimes forget that we come equipped with one. Although simple, this mentor is almost infallible when used properly. Before we act, all we have to do is check with our internal mentor and ask "After I do this, how am I going to feel about it, and how am I going to feel about myself?"

". . . and always let your conscience be your guide.