What value is there in shame?

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  1. stclairjack profile image81
    stclairjackposted 7 years ago

    Does shame have value? In stripping us of our shame, have psychologists also robed us of pride?

    The modern world has found little value in shame, choosing instead to focus on self image, and self esteem. But in taking away the shame from many if not all human failings,… have we been also robbed ourselves of any pride we might find in our lives?

    Life is full of polar opposites that seem to need one another to exist, they co-exist in a symbiotic relationship, each needing the other, and ceasing to exist without the other,…. Pride and shame are that way.

    Can you appreciate light if you’ve never known the darkness?….. Can you feel pride if you’ve never felt shame?,….. Can you really have any self esteem if the concept of pride is lost with its symbiotic cousin shame?

    We often hear it asked,… “have they no shame?”,… we ask it of our younger generations, we ask it of our criminals,… we ask it of our politicians,…. And we are amazed that seem to not only have no shame but no understanding of the concept.

    Is it any wonder we find so little to be proud of,….

    So what do you think,….

    Is the theory of opposites true here?,…. Does it apply to light and darkness the same as it would apply to shame and pride?,…

    to love and hate,…

    to hunger and contentment,….


    1. DonDWest profile image56
      DonDWestposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      I'm of the opinion that the "self-esteem movement" has been the most toxic "invention" ever created by humanity.

      1. Doug Hughes profile image60
        Doug Hughesposted 7 years agoin reply to this

        Here's a suggestion. All you folks who believe in the value of shame form a club and shame yourselves and each other to your hearts content.

        If you decide to include whips, send pictures to Ron.

        Leave those of us who don't agree with your view alone to conduct sane lives.

  2. profile image0
    Brenda Durhamposted 7 years ago

    Good questions.
    I know that shame does have value.  Without it there is no hope for positive change, no hope of redemption.
    The modern psychology, as you mentioned, and I think our modern society in general, seeks to find reasons for everything (which is a good thing) but it also tries to make excuses for it.

    1. stclairjack profile image81
      stclairjackposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      i think you got my point compleetly.

      my standard line to those who make excuses for thier actions rather than making atonement is to say,... "you will never own your achievments until you own your failures,... we are the sum total of everything we've done, good and bad alike,... iff all things are excused and niether good nor bad,... then all things are nutral,.. and so are you"

      thanks for getting it.

  3. profile image0
    Brenda Durhamposted 7 years ago

    You're welcome.
    You've summed it up by exposing the "neutral" aspect.

  4. Alouroua profile image59
    Alourouaposted 7 years ago

    You need a moral compass to feel shame in wrongdoing. I'm not entirely convinced that general society has this; but instead has ego and survival instinct.

  5. profile image0
    rmjudkinsposted 7 years ago

    If there is validity to the argument for shame and pride, I would argue that their excess should be tempered by humility, which in my estimation, is preferable to either emotion. Perhaps, in this case, humility is the "neutral" gear we seek.
    I appreciate your thought provoking post.

    1. RKHenry profile image75
      RKHenryposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      I concur with your positioning here.


      Shame can be a valuable tool when used for learning, growing, and developing people skills and seeking out morality.


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