PLEASE NOTE:

MyNews24 is a user-generated section of News24.com. The stories here come from users.

 
sean
 
Comments: 3
Article views: 529
 
 
Latest Badges:



 
View all sean's badges.
 

What's your take on "shame"?

09 July 2012, 07:21

A few generations back a pregnant girl usually left school because of negative social stigma she'd received from others in society, and these days teenage pregnancy is not as big a deal as it was made out to be back then. Another example is that of defrauding the taxman or any other form of corrupt underhanded practices. It was considered ungentlemanly or even disgraceful or shameful to cheat on your taxes a generation or two back, yet nowadays a certain UK Banks' CEO goes in front of a Treasury Select Committee to defends himself and his bank in order to give a complete opposite side to the story in what he's being accused of.

Scientist,Charles Darwin describe shame in his book The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals as:"consisting of blushes,confusion of mind,downward cast eyes,slack posture and lowered head."

Is there a moral drift that has taken place in society at large these days? Should we resist the pressure of public opinions? You see ideas concerning that which is appropriate from that which is unacceptable and that which is creditable and honourable from that which is irreprehensible or shameful differs from place to place and from person to person. Should we rather consider popular opinions and values of the time instead of imposing our own standards on what we observe in others around us?

Ancient Greeks,Romans and Jews all considered honour and shame to be pivotal values in their individual cultures. From Homer to Herodotus and from Pindar to Paul,men lived and died in their quest of honour,reputation,fame,approval and respect. However such incredible values made them susceptible to the opinions of others. Status,position and honour in life were and is everything in any society.

A society that gets characterized by an acute awareness of rank,from nobility to slavery is where men were at times. Honour is a person's value,not only in your own eyes but in the eyes of others as well. To honour someone means too acknowledge publicly that he or she behaved in a way that's expected of him or her. Rendering honour to someone means being outwardly impressed by a person's wealth,nobility,office,rank,social standing and therefore according him or her the due attention. You gain honour by performing virtuous deeds and acts or by excelling over other people like in sports,business,academics or the olympics.

In contrast,shame on the other hand is accompanied by public humiliation,displeasure and even ridicule as per Darwin's definition above. Psychoanalyst Helen B.Lewis writes: "The experience of shame is directly about the self, which is the focus of evaluation. In guilt, the self is not the central object of negative evaluation, but rather the thing done is the focus."

Fossum and Mason wrote in their book Facing Shame: "While guilt is a painful feeling of regret and responsibility for one's actions, shame is a painful feeling about oneself as a person."

Psychiatrist Judith Lewis Herman says: "Shame is an acutely self-conscious state in which the self is 'split,' imagining the self in the eyes of the other; by contrast, in guilt the self is unified."

Shamefulness also gets shown to a person when he or she is being seized and publicly charged with wrong doing by law enforcement officers. Then for a person to be bound or confined is still seen as degrading by onlookers. Such treatment insults you as a person before friends,family and your general community. On top of that the stigma attached to your reputation could completely shatter your self-respect and damage your relationship with others. It can even incite feelings of contempt and derision,which deprives you of your honour. Not the worst kind of indignity,but still you know.... rather obey the law I guess and then endeavour to avoid the shame that follows from the wrong kind of conduct.

Should you allow other people's standards in life,whether it be celebrities or just average Joe, to dictate your course of conduct? Should you fold under outside exerted pressure by others to conform to their way of thinking? What if someone is morally repugnant,dishonest or engages in questionable activities like one UK Bank's CEO? Why should any of us be ashamed for standing up for what is right? There is no dignity gained in seeking glory from inglorious fools.

Any person that desires honour in life should give weight to what society thinks of him or her. However it would be foolish and short-sighted to be influenced entirely by public opinions. So honour the honourable things and shame the shameful things in life.

References:

1.http://www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shame.

2.www.psychcentral.com/classics/Hall/Adolescence/chap17.

3.Bad Attitudes: Historical Perspectives Archives/badattitudes.com

4.www.squidoo.com › Culture & Society › History › Modern History.

Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.
 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
3 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Terrylin Backpackers
The cheque is in the post

"I hear you are in bond collections. What are the latest excuses people are coming up with these days? I've run out of ideas." Read more...

10 comments 3878 views
Submitted by
Meta
News in the digital age

How do you think that spreading your hate/bigotry and or intolerance helps anybody? Read more...

14 comments 1235 views
Submitted by
Brian Faul
How and why a Dictator is born

One needs to remember looking back in history these hard times is when a dictator is more likely to get born. It is during these hard times that a dictator gets voted into power. Read more...

10 comments 2022 views
Submitted by
Prenisha Naidoo
I will be proactive...

This letter is in response to articles on the death of baby Jamie Naidoo, We have the tendency to be reactive…we wait for something to happen, then suddenly we care, writes a News24 User. Read more...

2 comments 500 views
Submitted by
woadstress
Celebration

Make a list of at least ten things that you can celebrate, and write two or three reasons why you can celebrate those things or events. Read more...

1 comments 186 views
Submitted by
Eric de Castro
Last squeak of the year

 Read more...

14 comments 310 views

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Grand Theft Auto 5

Now available on PS4, Xbox One and PC from R649. Buy now!

Festive gifts!

Check out our awesome range of festive gifts to make everyone’s wishes come true. Shop now!

Save on Samsung

Cameras, mobile phones, TVs, Tablets and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to R2200 on electronics! – As seen in the catalogue

Wishing for tech gadgets this festive? Save up to R2100 on hot tech products at kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

30% off the bestselling books

Save big on the most captivating reads of 2014. While stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

 

services

E-mail Alerts The latest headlines in your inbox

RSS feeds News delivered really simply.

Mobile News24 on your mobile or PDA

E-mail Newsletters You choose what you want

News24 on your iPhone Get News24 headlines on your iPhone.

SMS Alerts Get breaking news stories via SMS.

Blogs Your opinion on you, me and everyone.

Calais Website keywords automated by OpenCalais.

 
Interactive Advertising Bureau
 
© 2014 24.com. All rights reserved.
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.