Friday, July 25, 2008
The No Shame Zone and Shambotomies
The role shame plays in the lives of some people and not in the lives of others hit me like a love bug hits an interstate windshield. I am sure that shame is the right word. Consider the dictionary definition, "the painful feeling arising from the consciousness of something dishonorable, ridiculous, done by oneself or anothers." It's that feeling from a twinge to a deep hollowness that is you telling yourself that you or someone else has been unfair.
So a hardworking guy where you work gets canned 5 years short of cashing on his retirement and some feel shame and others do not. A secretary makes 25K a year while a law professor makes 200K a year. Some feel shame and others to not. A person "volunteers" for a nice teaching assignment while not even disclosing its availability to others. No sense of shame what-so-ever. I cannot say if all institutions governed by elites are no shame zones because I know some elites who are capable of feeling shame and do feel shame. I also know some who are capable of feeling it and fight against it with with their infinite capacity to rationalize. But, I have to admit, if there is anything that seems pervasive when elites are around it is an absence of shame.