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On this day in 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan, killing an estimated 140,000 people. Albert Einstein, the first proponent of the atomic bomb, always regretted his part in it, saying at the time of Hiroshima: “the war is won, but not the peace”. His words sound prophetic today. In everyday life we often focus too much on getting what we want while justifying dubious means that we employ to succeed. If we do this we hear the ‘still small voice of our conscience’ which, without our realising it, will start to make us feel unhappy. Today’s poem by Robert Herrick is about conscience:
Can I not sin, but thou wilt be
My private protonotary?
Can I not woo thee to pass by
A short and sweet iniquity?
I’ll cast a mist and cloud upon
My delicate transgression,
So utter dark as that no eye
Shall see the hugg’d impiety.
Gifts blind the wise, and bribes do please,
And wind all other witnesses;
And wilt not thou with gold be tied
To lay thy pen and ink aside,
That in the murk and tongueless night
Wanton I may, and thou not write?
It will not be; and therefore, now,
For times to come I’ll make this vow,
From aberrations to live free,
So I’ll not fear the Judge, or thee.
Today I ask that every choice I make will be for the right reason and that my conscience will not allow me to get away with falsehood.