How do you know when you are wrong?
Wait. Is that a trick question? No? Okay.
You basically just know… in your head and in your heart… no, your stomach. That is where all the wrongness pools. It’s awful. Sometimes, you’re lucky enough to get to shrug it off with a murmured apology. But when the situation is bigger than intended, that is when you start losing sleep.
Take the movie “I Know What You Did Last Summer,” for example. The problem begins when a kid who’s been drinking gets behind the wheel. He drives too fast and ends up hitting a pedestrian. All four kids (there are three others with him) completely freak out. They quickly reach an agreement to cover the accident up by dumping the body in the ocean. But the guy isn’t really dead. He comes to and the kids freak out even more, and he ends up in the water.
Two wrongs don’t make a right. What they did only caused more trouble. In this case, honesty could have saved their lives. But they’re scared kids, thinking only of themselves and the futures they wanted. They didn’t think of their victim, of his family, or of the consequences of living with this secret. And it cost them dearly.
Okay, maybe that was an extreme example. After all, that is Hollywood, extreme to the max. In real life, who knows what would have really happened? The victim would have gone to the hospital. Barry (the kid who was drinking) would have done time in prison, maybe, or because of his honesty (and depending on whether or not it was his first offense or not), gotten probation and/or community service. The other kids, Julie, Ray, and Helen, would have gotten off with a slap on the wrist or maybe community service as well. I know Julie, at least, would have asked for community service if it was not given – to make herself feel better. She probably would have gone out of her way to make it up to the victim. But who knows? Maybe Ben Willis was already insane. Maybe he would have punished the kids no matter what the court did.
That is me, always thinking of the what ifs.
Often, when I watch a movie or TV show, I find myself coming to a realization of what’s going to happen just seconds before it actually does happen. It would be nice, for once, to be surprised, don’t you think?
You are wrong when you have to hide something from other people – when you’re sneaking around doing what you want to do with no thoughts of anybody else. That horrible feeling in the pit of your stomach? Yeah, that is called a conscience. It’s a good thing. It means you’re not a sociopath. You’re normal. Yay, you!