The Conscience in Us All: Part II

In Things Fall Apart, after Okonkwo has been banished from the tribe for seven years after inadvertently killing someone, a friend of Okonkwo’s reflects,

Why should a man suffer so grievously for an offense he had committed inadvertently? But although he thought for a long time he found no answer. He was merely led into greater complexities. He remembered his wife’s twin children, whom he had thrown away. What crime had they committed? The Earth had decreed that they were an offense to the land and must be destroyed.

The tribe has tradition and rules and beliefs, yet here is a man who questions those beliefs, but he is afraid to not follow through with the killing of his own children out of fear of the consequences for himself and his tribe. His conscience tells him the truth. His culture screams louder. 

My culture screams as well—but not just in tradition. It literally makes noise: radio, TV, ipod, 24 hour news. We are bombarded by the noise which drowns so many other things. What is God trying to say that I just can’t hear? What is God trying to tell you that you just haven’t unplugged long enough to listen to?

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