The other day I was asked what one single thing could do the most to save our world and lives we live in nowadays. What one idea or tool might help us create a more just society?
My answer was "shame."
Shame isn't always a wasted or negative emotion. On the contrary, it can perform an important and socially useful function. Shame enforces our moral values even when legal and political institutions are too broken or corrupt to do so. Our society must learn to develop a "moral economics," and morality should often be enforced through shame by society.
We live in a society where it's no longer considered shameful for husbands and wife's to play around.
For sons & daughters to cheat and lie to parents, for corporate and companies to cheat and lie to their workers; for government to enrich only their own.
The world is awash with laundered dirty money through drugs, crime and we the people close our eyes to the negative aspects of our society's members and sometimes we ourselves revel with them, all in the name of instant gratification and enjoyment; of course under cover of anonymity.
Our middle class kind of cynicism is so accepted, so ingrained in fact, that even the more liberal amongst us find it less tolerating more frightening. We live in a society where it's not shameful to let cheats and liars go unpunished while asking everyone else to pay the cost of their illegal enrichment.
Nowadays, we allow ourselves, our politicians, & our esteemed leaders not to be ashamed of themselves when confronted with their faults and crimes! It is always some else's worry.
Perhaps no single change to our culture could do more to improve our lives than the rediscovery of the shame we used to attach to vile, greedy, selfish, and corrupt behavior amongst the men and women of today. This trait starts from us, our families to our immediate surroundings
Consider how far we've fallen:
Not long ago a person would have been ashamed to appear in public if they had shattered the trust and kind intentions of their loved ones, family and friends by either cheating innocent people, doing morally corruptible activities or plain and simple being caught doing wrong in the eyes of society.
Not long ago a politician who accepted and was sucked into the corrupting power of money and control immediately paid a steep price.
Not long ago leaders, men and women of large were ashamed to openly advocate the making of money and power to be supreme to ethics, loyalty and kindness. Not so nowadays, and in fact the opposite holds true to us and our leaders today.
Now it is almost glamorous to be caught with their hands in the pie. Newspaper and magazines pay the shameless millions to be the first to report on their infidelities and crimes!
We the consumers expect all the titillating stories without any moral guidance to be read with our morning coffee to tsk , tsk, over.
In 2012, it's time for shame to make a comeback.