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It's a Shame: No Shame Allowed

Updated on July 7, 2016

The Shamefulness of Shamelessness

No Shame? No Blame!

Many people today have no sense of shame. They simply cannot muster a sense of shame when they have done something, anything wrong. Psychologically, this may sate the ego for a time. At least, in terms of accountability for one's behavior and actions is accorded no blame. So, No shame? No Blame!

A quick glance at the media today is a prime example of shamelessness. There's plenty of photos of wrongdoing...murderers, rapists, liars and thieves all get their 10 seconds of fame on camera or on the pages of social media. Some of them grin ear to ear at their newfound celebrity. It's obvious brazen acts of defiance and civil disobedience are an expected performance by humans who simply have never been allowed a single moment of shame.

The "Not MY Child" Syndrome

Parents do their children no great service when they protect their children from ever feeling ashamed of their actions or words. Some parents go to such lengths to avoid their child ever feeling ashamed of having cheated on a school test, bullying their peers or acting out in public displays of childish tantrums. No one suggests these children be physically abused.

However, parents seem to consider children feeling a sense of shame to be "emotional abuse." Is it? Or, is it just that parents absorb all too much of their children's pyschological mental state?

When parents defend their children who have done something terribly wrong, the first words out of their mouths when their child is accused is, "Not MY child!" The child stands there and like a sponge soaks up the bad example parents set when they wrongly defend the indefensible or refuse to accept that their child must learn to suffer the consequences of their bad behavior. Padded children insulated from the hard, cruel world where accountability and shame exist is just too too too much for these children to bear.

From Insulated Child to Indifferent Teen

Don't wonder why some teens today have attitudes of mass indifference. By the time they are 13 years old, their parents have already conditioned them to never feel an ounce of shame for anything do. It is only when their now indifferent teen pushes the envelope of consequences for their actions and police are involved that these teens parents are forced to admit they made mistakes not providing the kind of discipline that offered their child a sense of shame.

What becomes more mystifying is how a tiny toddler instantly and instinctively feels shame when they break a toy or get caught with their fingers in the cookie jar. Oddly, it is their parents who soothe away the child's natural sense of shame for their behavior. This puts their child on the wrong path to responsibility for their actions or speech.

The Indifferent Teen to Brazen Adult

Certainly, it cannot be missed that today's young adults seem to feed upon the need to "act out" in the most bizarre, brazen public displays of belligerence. As young adults, they seem not to understand that communication also requires the ability to negotiate and reason things out with others in order to resolve issues.

Take a good look at the most militant, belligernt adults today. Most are rude, have no sense of courtesy, refuse to accept that others have a right to their opinions and have no ability to distinguish opinion from facts. To these individuals, their opinions are always facts, whether or not they actually are.

They simply cannot be wrong, even when they are. This is a regression to their childhood upbringing of never being ashamed of themselves. So how can they possibly EVER be wrong?

The Consequences of Shamelessness

While they may strut about in displays of bravado, they may believe there are no consequences for never being ashamed of their words or actions. Then, they marry, have children and the cycle of protection from shameless begins all over again. With one caveat. Their children have a second-generation intolerance for shame to a greater degree than their shameless parents. Little by little, this intolerance for shame becomes intolerance for responsibility. Intolerance for responsibility nearly always results in lawlessness or refusal to accept that to be part of a society, rules keep order and rules protect everyone.

The shameless always develop a total sense of bloated egos tinged with a neurotic need to control others at all costs in a world custom fit just for them. So they can do as they please without question or concern for the rights of others and become as selfish and self-deprecating as they please. After all, there's no shame in self-serviance is there?

One BIG Problem with Shamelessness

If a single child becomes an indifferent teen who becomes a shameless adult, it would not be necessary to study how destructive shamelessness can be. Multiple a single shameless individual by 350 million or more. Someone has to lead the shameless to their Utopian ideas of grandeur: a world without a single moment or shame, regret or remorse.

You can't have regrets or feel remorse if you never feel ashamed of yourself. The big problem with total lack of shame en masse in any society is that it always manifests itself into the illusion that "anything goes." So, you get a splintered society where it's okay to be as violent or militant as you please in one sect of the society. In other sect, it's okay to muscle others to your will if it gets you what you want. In still another sect, it's okay to lie, cheat, steal, deceive, pollute and corrupt. Who is going to make you feel ashamed?

Educators today are likely the first line of attack due to their daily interaction with young minds living in households where "shame" is an evil that must NEVER EVER be part of children's lives. So, when a teacher gives a child a well-deserved bad grade, how dare she cause that child to feel ashamed? Run to the principal and report that teacher's incompetence for daring to do her job and to try to help a child understand where they went wrong.

The "Not MY Child" Syndrome has become teachers' worst nightmare. They can no longer demand obedience. It might shame tender young hearts. They don't dare set forth a code of classroom behavior just in case the little darlings act out and need discipline that will cause mass shame.

Think about this. Children are in classes six hours a day and not once are they ever allowed to be ashamed of their bad or incorrect behavior. Classrooms have become like the final scene from "Lord of the Flies." if not like the close to the plot of Goethe's play, Faust.

And just where does all of this protection from shame get us? Look around you. Now, you have the most classless, disgusting celebrities posing shamelessly like some alien life form for selfies they feel the world must absolutely see and adore. You have criminals brazenly posing as they are escorted from the scene of their crimes, manacled and handcuffed, acting as if they have become a world champion prize fighter.

The Shamefulness of Shamelessness

There should be some recompense for the lack of shame in society today. When society begins to allow others to feel no shame, it is a form of enabling of unacceptable behavior. The shamefulness of shamelessness results in a world where rules no longer keep society in order and pride in irresponsibility and lack of accountability pervade every area of human life.





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    • lions44 profile image

      CJ Kelly 10 months ago from Auburn, WA

      Excellent point. A lack of shame mixed with a growing indifference has lead to many of today's problems. I know a lot of teachers and they all mention the "not my child" issue. It is a constant drone.

      Sharing everywhere.

    • Ewent profile image
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      Eleanore Ferranti Whitaker 10 months ago from Old Bridge, New Jersey

      While I was not involved in elementary or secondary education, my first life career was in dance education. I owned two dance schools where I taught classical ballet, tap, jazz, acrobatic dance and ethnic dancing.

      While I never had the kind of monstrosity the Abby Lee Miller Dance Company reality TV show proves to be, I did find very often one common thread among parents, "living vicariously through their children."

      It's why some of these parents cannot grasp the idea of failure in their childen at any level. It's also the reason they want toddlers to have the intelligence of college students, effectively robbing their children of a normal childhood experience.

      If there is one thing I learned about children, it is that there is a logic to their human growth mentally and physically. The idea that you can force feed a child's mind at 6 months old so they can magically have the intelligence of a 20 year old is just too freaky to me. Many of the children who are pushed too hard in dance end up with so many physical ailments later in life as a result of pushing the envelope too hard in their early childhood and teens.

      I've worked with thousands of dance students of all ages. Watching their morbid dread of failure was one of the most difficult issues to resolve in my classes.

      I often see older parents with so little patience with their toddler children and wonder how on earth they will manage them when they are teens.

      It's an odd thing that adults who have children at a later age are somehow supposed to be more "ready" for parenting. Yet, everywhere you go all you see are parents rushing their kids through childhood. There is always a consequence for that.

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