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power of language blog: partnering with reality by JR Fibonacci

  1. secrecy, shame, guilt, and moral absolutism

    a correspondent just wrote this to me: (in reply to )

    Always interesting to read your posts. I am not sure that shame leads to courage. How so? 

    [JR notes: I do not recall saying anything to that effect, by the way.]

     It is my observation that shame, as opposed to guilt, is a socially conditioned emotion. For example, people in different cultures will feel shame about different things. In a traditional Asian culture, a grown child would feel terrible shame at leaving an elderly parent alone, even if that parent were in good health, and moving across the country to take a good job. In American culture that move would be more or less expected even by most parents. Everyone would feel proud that the adult child was experiencing success. 

    I think a lot of problems arise when we…

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