#shame #ConstantShame #HealthyDosesOfShame #feelings #LackOfFeelings
Shame may be a terrible thing to feel.
But having no shame may be worse.
Michaela B. Swee and Susan Murray wrote an article for Psyche advising “How To Cope With Shame.”
“Do you feel perpetually bad, broken or unlovable?” the article begins.
Then, it proceeds to provide psychological “tools” with how to combat this feeling of shame.
Certainly, shame as a constant feeling may certainly be unhealthy.
But, healthy doses of shame, every so often, can be very healthy.
Otherwise, if you have no ability to feel shame, you will likely do evil things.
It’s easier to commit evil when there is no interference from your conscience.
The point is that shame, as a constant, is bad for the psyche. But one must find the happy medium so that he or she can feel shame when appropriate. That could prevent him or her from hurting others.
Some countries, or systems of belief, incorporate shame into their teachings. They want your feeling of shame to punish you if you do something wrong. In these cultures, the feeling of shame is the worst punishment imaginable – worse than a beating or imprisonment.
That indoctrination into feeling shame is a great deterrent to the commission of evil.
But to those who feel no shame, doing evil may be painless to them, perhaps even bring them joy. In many cases, the evil they commit on others enriches them. To them, ill-gotten gains are still gains. How they got them is of no matter to them.
We’ve undoubtedly, at some point in our lives, come across an evil doer, the commission of whose deeds would never cross your mind.
That probably means you would feel a healthy dose of shame should you do those things.
Healthy doses of shame – or the possibility of it — make people good, in many ways.
Shameless individuals, on the other hand, are probably not good people. They are untrustworthy, unreliable and, yes, potentially dangerous.
Those who feel constant shame – the folks the authors are addressing – could be potentially dangerous to themselves. The authors suggest things like knowing the cause of your constant shame, even writing a letter to yourself, showing yourself compassion.
It’s unclear whether people who feel constant shame would be a danger to others.
It’s very clear that those who feel no shame are a potential danger.
The authors also suggest that people who feel constant shame find “safe relationships,” meaning hanging with those who understand you.
For those with no shame, relationships are likely a means to an end.
In summary, healthy doses of shame are good. Constant shame is not. Having no shame may be the worst of all.


#graduates #GraduationSeason #gratitude #AttitudeOfGratitude #HelpingOthers
Graduation season brings out the gratitude in all those mortarboard-clad hopefuls.
Graduates are grateful to those who helped make them who they are: parents, teachers, mentors, coaches, family and friends.
But can they sustain that gratitude to others who will influence their lives from here on?
Certainly, those who brought them along during their formative years will likely not be forgotten.
But as they (pick one: cruise, stumble, climb, fly) into adulthood, others will step in to influence what they do, who they are and what they will become.
The question for those grads will be: will they remember who helped them, advised them or worked with or for them etc., that made a difference in their outcomes?
Leaders and other good people understand that the road to success is not a solo venture. In fact, they learn that success comes not from just helping oneself, but by helping others.
As they proceed to help others succeed, they cultivate a deep gratitude not only for the privilege of helping others, but also for the honor of being helped by others.
So, if you are a graduate this year, don’t let the season just be a symbol of gratitude. Let it be a foundation for the gratitude you will hone throughout your life.
This is not to say that self-confidence is not a virtue. In fact, it’s difficult to appreciate those who believe(d) in you if you do not believe in yourself.
You will face many decisions that will be completely yours. You may indeed have strong beliefs on how to proceed. Still, don’t hesitate to ask someone you trust whether they believe you are making the right choice(s) before you decide. You may discover something of which you’d never thought.
Also, you will face choices to do what benefits you most, or what may benefit others most. Choosing the former may work in some employment situations. Very likely, however, choosing the latter in more whole-life circumstances will be better.
Also, remember it is always better to serve than be served, regardless of what position or status you reach.
Serving is the ultimate form of gratitude for your success.
Success by serving others is the truest form of achievement. As you help others succeed, success generally follows you.
You will run across some for whom success comes at the expense of others. That may work in some sports competitions, but generally does not in other aspects of life. Success at the expense of others is the opposite of gratitude.
So, as you proceed to your next step, tread with gratitude, not only for those who’ve already helped you, but also for those who will help you. Return that favor by helping others.
Flying solo in life can get you off-course, can send you adrift and can be very lonely.
Taking others along for the ride will make the trip more pleasant, more fun and more rewarding.
Always be grateful.


#ComfortZone #StayInYourLane #competition #art #music #jobs #employment
The age-old question constantly arises: should one stay in his or her lane, or should one get outside of his or her comfort zone?
Perhaps it depends on the circumstance. There are certainly benefits for a person to do what he or she knows, and do it well.
But, there are other circumstances in which a person should challenge himself, or herself, to do something he or she may have never done, or thought he or she would never do.
As an example of the former, country music singer Blake Shelton, the outgoing coach on the TV singing competition “The Voice,” in the past has advised members of his team, such as some country singers, to stay in their lane.
These singers may be competing with singers who can more easily extend their voices athletically to do things the country singers may be less willing, or perhaps unable to do. But Shelton understands that many of the show’s fans, who ultimately vote for the winners each season, like country music.
So, Shelton may advise those singers to do what they do best, because the fans like that, and will vote for them.
In the latter case, it’s tough to get noticed in the workplace if you are pigeon-holed into a job that limits what you are allowed to do.
Certainly, employers may like workers who are “self-starters” that need little supervision. But if you aspire to bigger and better things, you may have to go outside of your designated area to show what you can do.
In other words, you may be very comfortable performing the assigned tasks you are given. But, you may perform those tasks in obscurity, which may hinder your career progress.
That begs another question: how does one know when to stay in one’s lane, or to get out of one’s comfort zone?
The answer may come down to one’s gut feeling. It may also come down to one’s ambition. In the case of “The Voice” singers, one’s ambition can help them to win the competition. Because it is a competition, one may want to extend his or her talent to the fullest to win. But, because vocal competitions are an art form, rather than an athletic battle, it may be best to do what one does best, to the best of one’s ability.
On the other hand, if you are stuck in a comfortable job but know you have the ability to go further up the ladder, you may have to extend yourself.
You may have to look for things – perhaps extra things – to impress those who have a say in promotions. These extra things may not be easy to find. But, perhaps one must get out of his or her comfort zone to find them.
The fact that a person left his or her comfort zone to do something extra will impress those who need to be impressed.
By doing so, one becomes not only a “self-starter,” but also is motivated to take risks to show his or her talent that may not be obvious from his or her “comfortable” work.
Circumstances dictate how one operates in life. Comfort may be nice, and appropriate in some instances, but sometimes going the extra mile is necessary to impress.
If you don’t have the ambition to get out of your comfort zone, you may have to cultivate it. If you don’t, what’s comfortable now may become stifling in the future.


#childfree #parents #children #ChildbirthDecisions #MarriedCouples
Traditionally, a person grows up, gets married and has children.
That person becomes a part of the typical American family.
But a Michigan study has discovered that many adults don’t want to be parents.
An article on the study, written by Zachary P. Neal, associate professor of psychology at Michigan State University, and Jennifer Watling Neal, psychology professor at Michigan State, was published Aug. 17, 2022, in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
The article says many people decide relatively early in life whether they want to be parents.
In fact, the article quotes the study, 21.64 of adults studied say they do not want children.
The study determined that a person was “childfree” if they answered “no” to whether they have ever had children (biological, adopted or step-children), whether they plan to have children in any of the three categories and whether they wished they had, or could have, children.
The study also breaks down the types of people in the category: “Childfree” people don’t want children; “childless” people want children, but can’t have them; “not-yet-parents” want children in the future; “undecided” people aren’t sure whether they want children; and “ambivalent” people aren’t sure they would have wanted children.
The study also says that under-population is not a problem. Despite the relatively high percentage of people in the Michigan study who don’t want children, the global population will continue to grow, the article says.
Having children is, and should be, an option for everyone. Parents of previous generations urged their children to at least “replace themselves” with children of their own.
For certain people, that may not be an option, physically. For others, it may be a decision based on other burdens in life. Still, for others, it may just be a matter of personal choice.
These people should not be criticized for their decisions. Very often, critics of such people have no idea what that person, or that couple, may be dealing with.
The article points out that workplace policies on work-life balance also favor parents. “We believe the needs of (the childfree group) warrant more attention from policymakers,” the authors write.
Having children should not be considered an obligation. Many parents of past decades lay guilt trips on their children for not producing grandchildren for THEM.
Of course, grandparents may love grandchildren, but they get to send them home, in most cases.
In short, children should be sent home with parents who WANT them, and are willing to put in the necessary work to raise them.
The article also points out that people who don’t want children are told they may change their minds down the road. That appears unlikely, the article says.
So, have children only if you want. If you do, have only as many as you want. But, if you don’t want to, that’s OK, too.


#truth #deceit #4CornersOfDeceit #debate #facts #conspiracies
The “Four Corners of Deceit”: government, science, academia and the media.
The late radio talk-show host Rush Limbaugh coined this term several years ago, as he claimed climate change was a hoax.
Contrary to that theory, former Vice President Al Gore called climate change “An Inconvenient Truth” in his book.
This is not just a simple debate. This “dispute” creates parallel universes of “truth.” One is smart to treat everything one reads or hears, purported as fact, with a skeptic’s ear.
But to take on our origins of knowledge without any basis of fact is reckless, even dangerous.
It has led to debates about what children should learn in school. Do we want our kids to learn only what we want them to know, or hear? Or, do we want them to learn the truth and follow the facts wherever they lead? We shouldn’t want them to believe things just because we want them to believe them. We should want them to be thoughtful, mindful and diligent about discerning truth from conspiracy, then making up their own minds about what to believe.
For example, certain types of discrimination are carefully taught in some households. But, as children go out into the world, they often find that what they were taught to hate cannot, and should not, be hated.
They may come across people whose behaviors they do not understand. But they learn that that is no reason to hate them.
Limbaugh may have found those institutions to be deceitful because they exposed things that were contrary to HIS version of the truth.
Certainly, one knows that not everything that comes out of those four corners is true. One can also ascertain that government, or some forms of media, can and do create narratives intended to make people believe what those institutions want them to believe.
But academia’s and science’s sole purpose is, or should be, to find the truth, teach the truth and not dress the truth in something that might make it look like something it is not.
By labeling our institutions as pillars of deceit does a disservice to our way of life. It does a disservice to our ability to advance our society, progress with new inventions and find ways to live even better lives.
Facts can be pesky things. They can get in the way of a good story. But, they can also expose REAL deceit among people and entities.
We’ve morphed into a society that, when someone doesn’t like something, he or she feels free to make up something different. We’ve come to believe that if someone with a big megaphone says something loud enough, often enough and unwaveringly enough, at least some – enough? — people will presume it is true, even if it isn’t.
Such a society is not a good place to raise and educate children. Children must learn how their ancestors created the world, and the tactics they used. Some of those tactics need teaching so the next generation will behave differently, and for the better.
No one is perfect. No one acts perfectly all the time. We make mistakes. But we, or those who come after us, must acknowledge those mistakes for what they are, so they will not be repeated.
Challenging certain truths can do real damage to the world we so carefully want to preserve.