A conscience

Conversation w Clara in the bath, while reading Ramona

Do you know what ‘Conscience’ means?

No

Do you want me to tell you?

OK

People usually think that a Conscience helps you know when you have hurt someone else, or broken a social rule, does that sound familiar?

No

Do you think you can tell in your body, the way Ramona can, that you have done something other people don’t want you to do? Ramona’s tummy hurts. Sometimes my throat feels tight because I am worried. Does anything happen for you?

I just cry.

OK. Yeah. Is there anything that helps you feel better when you have that feeling?

Someone talking to me. But not the person I hurt and not the person who got me in trouble. Someone I love or someone who doesn’t know what I did or doesn’t mind.

… I pause, sensing that there is moral threatening on the horizon of my mind …

Do you want to say sorry to the person you hurt, after you feel better?

No.

… Pause …

Some people think a conscience is to help you learn what hurts people so you can change what you do so you don’t keep hurting them. What do you think?

I don’t know. I don’t want to hurt people unless I’m mad. Like, if I hit someone then when I am mad again I will probably hit them again.

Who do you hit?

Zelda. Only Zelda. Because she is my sister. I wouldn’t hit my friends.

Why not?

Because they are my friends! I don’t want to. I wouldn’t.

What about Ida?

No.

But you do get mad at Ida.

Yeah.

Sometimes you are sharp with your words.

Yeah. But that is because we are deep friends. Deep heart friends. I can get mad at her. Not like my school friends. They are head friends. We play more carefully.

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