Digital Man, on Dec 11 2006, 04:00 PM, said:
Una Salus Lillius, on Dec 11 2006, 06:38 PM, said:
Here's the thing. I am human. I cannot take a class in Transfiguration at Hogwart's School of Magic and transform myself into a housecat so there's really zero point in worrying about it. So I'm left with the fact that I am human. Shame takes energy. It is also rooted in a failure to accept oneself. It's also a negative emotion. As a human being I have a finite amount of earthly energy. It is inefficient and illogical to waste my time with shame about who I am because who I am IS who I am. It makes a lot more sense for me to use that finite energy to give my best effort to being the *best* me I can be. And that can look like whatever I choose so long as I approach it with that motive.
I must note that this is the same Lil who has said on a number of occasions: "The way I feel is the way I feel."
And there is also
the other Lillianism: "Do NOT tell me how to feel. If I'm angry, I'm going to STAY angry as long as I need to, and you're just gonna hafta DEAL with that."
Yup I have said those things. But in case you hadn't noticed, I'm slightly different today than I was when saying those kinds of things around here was a regular event.
However, I would also argue that those things are not inconsistent with my post above because I'm not telling anyone how *they* should feel, I'm explaining how *I* feel, which IS the way I feel, so DEAL with it.
What was that old cliche about "No man being an island"?
Couldn't agree with you more but I disagree with your application of it. The fact that I cannot go through this life in a vaccuum doesn't mean that everything everyone does is on me. Just a few examples: Dubbaya's actions usually astound me in their idiocy. But I'm not ashamed to be an American just because some Americans who aren't me voted for him, twice. I didn't vote for him so his actions are not on me. Which does not mean I can't do my part to be part of the solution, it just means that his actions don't reflect on me. Hell, I'd probably argue that his actions don't reflect on those who voted for him either because I'm sure many of those people had the courage of their convictions and didn't know how things were going to turn out.
I think it's a natural thing to feel a sense of shame when we see our bretheren do something idiotic. When terrorists attack skyscrapers, when bigots drag gay folks behind pickup trucks and lynch African Americans, when people recklessly damage natural environments, causing the extinction of plant and animal life, it does bring about rage. And for me, it also does bring a sense of shame. But-the way I feel is the way I feel. That shame isn't necessarily a bad thing. It may be a driving force that makes you even more determined to do something constructive as a human being.
Well you feel however you feel right? But yeah, history is full of examples of how dark human nature can be. You don't have to even think about modern terrorism. Go back as far as you can and you'll find it. But although those kinds of things get more attention in history (not to mention the media today), they aren't (in my view of course) what makes the world go 'round. What makes the world go 'round is the millions of people who get up each day, do their thing, care for those they need to care for, show up for work and do their best. They are the people who don't honk in traffic, the people who don't kill other people, or beat or rape their partners or children, or steal from their employers, AND I defy you to tell me that *those* people, are not vastly more numerous than the ones who get all the press because they do horrible things.
I choose to identify with the latter group of people rather than the Dubbaya's and Hussein's of this world or those behind the Iquisition or the Reign of Terror or the pogroms in Russia or the Nazi Final Solution. Doesn't mean I think the world is perfect or that I or anyone else is perfect. Nor does it mean I don't want to avoid or alleviate the problems caused by those I don't identify with. It just means that the existence of a dark side of human nature is not, for me, a reason to be ashamed to be human.