Stolen Conscience

Stolen Conscience

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Be The Best You Can Be

Stolen Conscience

The person that loses their conscience has nothing left worth keeping.

~Izaak Walton

Last year, my mom tried to tell me that there really is a thing called a “conscience.” You know, that little voice in your head that tells you when something you do is wrong? I never really believed her. I thought about hearing a small voice saying, “Brandon don’t do this. Brandon, do that.” That’s dumb, I thought.

Then one day, my dad took me shopping, and we went into a toy store. There were lots of things to buy, especially in this one store where they sell collectable Star Wars cards. I really wanted a pack, but my dad said I couldn’t have them so I got mad. After my dad left the store, I put the pack that I asked for into my pocket and walked out of the store.

The next day, I had a bad stomachache, and I felt that I needed to say something or let something out.

This is the first time I ever felt this way. I wondered all day if it was my conscience telling me that I did something I shouldn’t have done. It was a horrible feeling, as if someone knew what I had done and told me that I was bad. I felt ashamed of myself.

Then that night, I had trouble sleeping. I was thinking scary thoughts about what could go wrong. What if someone finds out? Will I get kicked out of the store for good? Will I go to jail? The next day, I asked my mom if someone would feel anything if they did something wrong.

“Yes,” my mom answered. “You would feel sort of sick in a way.”

I knew I had to confess. So I told my mom what I had done, and she drove me to the store. She gave me money, and I paid for the cards that I stole. I also told the lady who ran the store that I was sorry. She was nice and said that I could come back to the store again.

After I told the truth, I felt better. But I was still embarrassed that I committed a crime, which I never thought I would do in my life. Even today, anytime I think about stealing, I get the shivers and feel just like I did when I stole that pack of cards. I also learned an important lesson during that week: Listen to your head and heart, not your greed.

~Brandon Deitrick, 12

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