There's a little shame in being poor; but there's a truckload of shame in begging.

There's a bit of shame in gluttony; sobbing over your ice cream is fucking pitiful.

There's some shame in having your life suck; crying about suicide will make everyone who knows you remember you as the world's biggest pussy.

There's a touch of shame to be had from your annoyance, impatience, selfishness or whatever else plagues ya. But when you blame the world for it, you look about as good as Peter denouncing Jesus. Whatever it is, the world didn't do it to you. Your parents didn't do it to you. Neither did Uncle Sam, the water company or the person who brought it up. Your shame, insignificant as it should be, is so fascinating to you that you dote on it, magnify it, and end up making yourself look ten times more worthless than you are.

I don't really get the concept of shame. 'Cause I can't think of anything that is so shameful that the mere act of admitting it, taking the blows, can't utterly compensate. I mean, a poor, fat, ugly, or mean person seems completely vindicated to me by simply standing up, facing, and dealing with their problem. Even the murderer doesn't seem so shameful if he stands there in court and takes what's coming to him.

Then there's them who just can't bear to not think about themselves; who absolutely must be involved in and angry at themselves or they're just not happy. And thanks to their whining, everyone else quickly follows suit.

We all fuck up. We just don't all get off on it so much.
The tone of the above writeup seems to obscure part of the message (though to convey another). It is often claimed that true depth or profundity consists in recognizing that life is pain (or that people can't change, or that x is false, where x is anything positive that your parents or society told you when you were young). Lots of famous, excellent thinkers have held such beliefs--Friedrich Nietzsche is a good example. Unfortunately, many extend this trend into their own lives and allow the experience of pain to overwhelm their other activity, and restrict the focus of their attention to their own lives. Jean-Paul Sartre and other Existentialists are interesting and valuable because they do not dwell merely on themselves, nor merely on the recognition of the problems inherent in the human condition (though this is an important part of the project), but because they universalize their thinking and offer solutions for us all.

Another major theme that appears to be at work in the above writeup is the appreciation of the everyday. One need not be exceptional to be a good person. The responsibilities of a citizen are quite burdensome enough that fulfilling them is worthy of pride and the approval of one's peers.

Finally, issues of free will bear on, though are not explicitly expressed in, PureDoxyk's writeup. A Determinist might accept that individuals are not responsible for their actions, but would presumably find the location of responsibility with one's parents, society, or anything smaller than the entire universe unjustified (barring special accommodations for the transmission of responsibility, such as those proposed by A.J. Ayer and Daniel Dennett). Those who believe in an incompatibilist free will would, except in extremely unusual circumstances, simply claim that the individual is responsible as a result of free choices made in the past.

Ultimately, I agree with the message that I find above, that people should try to take responsibility for themselves, regardless of what their environment has done to them. I do think consideration for environmental factors is warranted from others, but then, I sort of feel as though everyone should be generous in their evaluations of others, and not in their evaluations of themselves.

Log in or registerto write something here or to contact authors.