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What's Wrong with Shame?

Thursday, January 09, 2014 12:34 AM Comments (49)

The internet is abuzz with the image of a girl. Shock, right? But not that kind of picture. It's a picture of a girl who appears to be in her early teens, holding a sign which reads:

"My name is Hailey. I am a kind, caring, smart girl, but I make poor choices with social media. As a punishment, I am selling my iPod and will be donating the money to the charity Beat Bullying, in hopes of changing my behavior as well as bringing awareness to Bullying. Because bullying is wrong."

This is creating a lot of back and forth, with some accusing the mom of going too far and saying the Mom is the real bully.

Sarah B. Weir, Shine Senior Writer asked "Who's the Bully Now?"

Family therapist and parenting expert Karen Ruskin in that same article reportedly said "Without realizing it, the mother is actually doing what her daughter did to another child. Cyberbullying is psychologically hurting someone using social media. Now you are putting your daughter in a position where she is being shamed."

I've got to ask, what's wrong with shame? I mean, does anyone think that young girls are experiencing too much shame in today's culture? No. Shame is practically extinct today.

Today, any sense of shame is viewed as puritanical, if not evil.

It can safely be said that recent generations are notoriously unashamed. Look at most apologies nowadays. Hardly anyone says they're ashamed of themselves for their actions. You see, that would require some standard you're judging yourself against. But nowadays people don't believe there is ONE standard. There's as many standards as there are people so now apologies are only directed at those who may have taken offense. So it's not something you did anymore, it's something they did for which you're sorry. Does that make sense?

If I were to make any suggestion to the 21st century it would be to bring back shame. Shame is an acknowledgement that we have done something wrong. Shame is accepting that our actions have distanced us from God. By rejecting the necessity of shame we are, in effect, rejecting the concept of sin. To do that would be a shame!

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About Matthew Archbold

Matthew Archbold
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Matt Archbold graduated from Saint Joseph's University in 1995. He is a former journalist who left the newspaper business to raise his five children. He writes for the Creative Minority Report.