Daily prompt: The value of having a conscience


I didn’t want to get out of bed this morning. The air was chill, the bed was warm, and nothing on my calendar suggested anyone would know let alone care if I spent the day tucked up in my bedly burrow.

But nowhere in the maze of shoulds and should nots that constitute my conscience was a sign that said This way to self-indulgence, so I crawled out and made coffee instead.

This is really silly, if I look at it objectively. What possible harm could it do anyone if I spent the day in bed? Except me, possibly. I’d be depressed by mid-afternoon and unable to sleep at night, but in the general scheme of things, so what? I blame this resistance to self-indulgence on Anglican boarding school indoctrination, where Love thy neighbour was never accompanied by as thyself, but that was a lot of years ago and I could be expected to have got over it by now.

But then I turned on my computer to check the day’s news and saw that companies and hospitals around the world have been attacked by ‘ransomware’ – they have to pay money to get their computer systems back up – and thought that having a conscience, however petty its dictates, was better than being a true-blue bastard who would risk lives to satisfy their own greed – or perhaps simply because they thought it would be fun. Or maybe because their girlfriends cast aspersions on the size of their equipment, who knows.

The tool used in these attacks is apparently a piece of cyberware developed by the National Security Agency, which isn’t just ironic, but speaks to the stupidity of current values. In my opinion.

Not that anyone cares what you or I might think. The movers and shakers are too dazzled by their own cleverness and high on their own power to recognise ‘collateral damage’ as actual living breathing people. With actual lives they might quite like.

See? I should have stayed in bed after all.


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16 Responses to Daily prompt: The value of having a conscience

  1. It’s so ridiculous that the hospitals got targeted, whether intentional or not. My local hospital has had to cancel all appointments, including my sons!

    I wish I’d stayed in bed too!! 🙂

  2. Vivian Zems says:

    Good post. The cyber attack has caused so many problems here. I ended working a half day cos I couldn’t access some notes.
    At least you were near your bed. I wanted min badly too!
    Good post

  3. Fran Macilvey says:

    I do so agree with your conclusion about boarding school indoctrination. It comes out in all sorts of funny guises and when least expected, but still haunts the space that we like to call ‘independence’ and ‘self awareness…’ Strange.

    As for the cyber war…. who knows?

    Thanks, Helen! 😀 xxx

    • And then we beat ourselves up about not being over it. But we were so young and impressionable – and so far from the security of home… We were sitting ducks for the sort of brainwashing that’s so deeply buried that as you say, we barely know it’s there until it pops up. I don’t do too badly on independence and self-awareness, but self-confidence? Bludgeoned to death over five long years!

  4. I agree. It seems most of us live in one world and the political leaders live in a vastly different world and purport to lead “us” a bunch of people they don’t know anything about. Every single day I do some ordinary task and ask myself, “Has Ivanka Trump ever picked up dog shit?” or “How often has The Donald mowed the grass?” or “When was the last time Hillary Clinton put up chokecherry jelly to share with her neighbors?” I think the Queen of England might be more likely to do that or maybe I think that because she resembles my mom…

    • I think to them we’re not just ‘people they don’t know anything about’, we’re a different species. I have the impression that in some ways, American leaders are treated more ‘royally’ than the Queen – who drove an ambulance in London during WW ll, which would have been in-your-face reality.
      I have just watched a Bernie Sanders speech on Trump’s first 100 days. I genuinely can’t get my head around the figures he mentions as the personal wealth of America’s top 1%.

      • American leaders aren’t treated like royalty for royal reasons, but because of fears of assassination. Except our current douche bag who doesn’t count and probably couldn’t if he tried ( ha ha ). I agree that to those people we’re another species, the “shills”. A Dutch TV network has made a documentary on Donald Trump and his Russian friends. You might “enjoy” watching it.

  5. No you shouldn’t have got out of bed, if you didn’t want to. Liveing in the UK, I find that quite a few people disaprove if I stay up all night, writing, and then don’t get out of bed until mid-day. Some of these individuals never do anything but sit around drinking tea and gossiping, which is fine, until they start criticizing someone who runs practically everywhere, in order to find the time to do all she wants to do in a day.
    As for those crooks who are holding computer systems to ransom, I don’t know what to say… except that they’re crooks… and they’re holding computer systems to ransom, obviously…
    I first herad about that nasty trick when it happened to the wife of a blogging friend. She refused to pay – said she hadn’t lost anything that she cared to keep.

    • I also stay up well into the small hours, but since I’m fairly solitary, no one bothers to criticise my habits! Trouble is I don’t really enjoy staying in bed until midday. I want that coffee too much.

      • I have friends who call me at the crack of, ahem, mid-day, suggesting that we meet up, and neighbours who notice my curtains are closed.
        Maybe I should go back to living in a tent in the woods.

      • I live in the closest comfortable thing – a unit mostly surrounded by holiday lets (this is a small seaside town) where no one stays long enough to know or care who I am or what I do. I recommend it!

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