It’s not the worst thing that can happen to a person if he or she feels guilt and shame, especially if they’ve done something wrong. From el gato malo at boriquagato.substack.com:
have we exited the habitable belt for humanity?
the floor recognizes “don gato.”
these days it seems like every piece of criticism is “shaming.” fat shaming. race shaming. gender shaming. privilege shaming. shame shaming.
it’s all supposed to be bad and rotten and mean and the sort of thing that people are not supposed to do to one another.
but what if past a certain point that’s just plain wrong?
what if past a certain point you need shame and demanding that it never be turned upon you is, in fact, that which is shameful?
what if without shame there is no resilience and a personal sense of mortification therefore represents a vital warp and weft within personal and societal fabrics?
what if shame is part of growing up and becoming autonomous and is a vital internalization to keep you off the rocks of self-indulgent self-pity and on a course for self-reliance and self-governance?
what if sometimes shame is good and makes us better, healthier, more actualized people by keeping us from acting like big fat colicky babies?
because i think perhaps it does.
the goldilocks zone
like many things in societies and real life, shame is likely something of a goldilocks zone. for those unfamiliar with the metaphor, it works like this:
for habitable planets, you want liquid state water. too close to the sun, it’s steam. too far away, it’s ice. just right: you get water, life, ecosystems and all the things that come with it. it becomes a place you can live.