Shame, Self Importance and Personal Responsibility

JMJ has brought up the argument several times that the root of many problems in this country is a person lack of shame. I have thought about this for a few weeks because I agree with the sentiment but shame seemed like too much of a repressive word.

Many of us have agreed that there is a near epidemic of shunning personal responsibility. Whether personal or through parenting there always seems to be someone else to blame or society or big business.

So I am going to postulate what is the root of lack of shame and lack of owning up to mistakes; self importance. Self importance is the root since it causes people to have no shame or to not care. Look at Madonna and Brittany Spears kiss on national television. They certainly showed a lack of shame and didnt care about the millions of people who may or may not support lesbian rights but didnt want it shoved in their face on national TV. Madonna and Brittany's combined self importance forced it on the viewers without a care. Its one thing to be proud of who you are. Its another to shove it into the face of everyone you come in contact with.

Self importance also is the root of lack of personal responsibility. It cant possibly be your fault because you're number one and the single most important thing on your mind. I see it all the time on the roads and highways where drivers of SUVs put on their turn signal and just go, forcing others around them to respond. If there is a problem stemming from this, its because others on the road cant handle driving in the same league as you.

Self importance affects parenting as well. You have your mind set that you have raised your child to be perfect and any flaw stems from playing violent video games or TV or the failings of the public school system.

When will we wake up?

I think self-importance is half of the equation. The other half is a sense of victimization. You don''t like your weight? Not your fault. It''s all beyond your control. The world is too big and unfair for wittle ol'' you to be able to account for yourself. The bastards at the food companies made you fat. Your damn parents passed on a genetic soup that left you a big tubbo. It is everyone''s fault but your own.

That line of reasoning can be applied to everything negative in life. Not fair? Not your fault. Painful? Must be someone around to sue.

Combine the lack of consideration for others that is incumbent in self-importance with the sense that nothing is in your control and so you are a perpetual victim and you have a recipe for social disaster.

Nobody else is gonna bite?

Damn you consensus! Damn you to hell!!!

On a serious note though, how do we combat this problem?

Is holding yourself to a higher standard, raising your children as such and holding your friends and coworkers to their word enough?

Is it a generational passing trend?

I don''t have much to add, that''s why I haven''t posted. I pretty much agree with your sentiments and the further notes that JMJ added.

I would like to add that this is why I hate the working world already. I''ve only had a handful of jobs, but the workforce is the same at all of them: everyone seems to be more concerned with backstabbing political infighting and doing everything they can to get out of work, even to the point of blatantly lying about coworkers to make themselves look better by comparison.

When I started working after college, I was totally honest, hardworking, volunteering when work needed to be done even when it wasn''t part of my job description. I didn''t expect to be promoted for it or anything; frankly, I prefer being a ""grunt"" than being in management (especially middle management).

However, I''ve gotten pretty jaded in my admittedly short 4 years, as I''ve had false accusations laid against me and have gotten in trouble for things I haven''t done. I try to defend myself, but all I can figure is, since management is used to people lying, they must figure that my honesty is meant to cover something bad up.

It''s gotten to where I just keep to myself anymore except for a select few people, and I don''t volunteer for extra work as much anymore since it only ever seems to make me catch flak and be set up for accusations. I just go in, do my job (and I''m still a hard worker, just within my means), keep to myself, and count the days until I can retire.

It sucks; I''d love a job where I don''t have to behave that way just to keep from getting screwed over.

It takes time Farscry. But eventually you will find a boss that appreciates your honesty and dedication. What you job is when you find that boss is to make that boss look like pure gold to his boss. Do that enough and your boss will want to take you along wherever he/she may go.

Others may see that as a kiss ass or brown noser but your integrity and dedication creates a powerful distinction.

Hmm. On further review, I think we need to change your venacular a bit Fang. I don''t think it is self-importance, as much as self-involvement.

It is the difference between being arrogant and being selfish. And while I don''t know if everyone does the things they do because of arrogance, I am pretty damn sure that most people are inherently selfish, much to the detriment of society.

""love your neighbor as you love yourself."" - Luke 10:27

Who is my neighbor? My friends, family, the guy at the grocery store, they moron who just cut me off on the freeway, the man who just murdered my son. Ouch, that last one hurt, but what actions we take to love these people take many varied forms.

The point is that the ""me first"" attitude that spawned in the 60''s must be rejected and we must start putting the needs of those around us at the very same level that we put our own needs on.

"BrokenCrayon" wrote:

we must start putting the needs of those around us at the very same level that we put our own needs on.

Communist!

"BrokenCrayon" wrote:

""love your neighbor as you love yourself."" - Luke 10:27

Dammit, quit imposing your Judeo-Christian beliefs upon me!!!!

heh, thanks belt.

Actually this is an interesting point, however. This may seem like a very communist/socialist attitude but it will never work, nor has it ever worked, effectively if the government forces this upon people. You cannot legistlate this sort of behavior. Redistributing resources does not help parents take a more active role in their child''s life or cause them to care about other people. It makes it a very difficult issue to tackle.

In America, lately, we have been trying to force people to be nice to gay people, black people, and other people who are victims of ""hate crimes"". It isn''t working. People still think they are more important than anyone else and deserve better (self-involvement and victimization/entitlement).

Changing the heart and soul of a people cannot and should not be legislated through the government.

Loving someone doesn''t mean you have to agree with them or condone any of their activities. Love isn''t earned, it''s given.

edit: because spelling and grammar is hard

"BrokenCrayon" wrote:

""love your neighbor as you love yourself."" - Luke 10:27

I did, then I got arrested for indecent exposure.

You know good and well it''s true.
They never do what you want ''em too.
Cuz people ain''t no good.
They''re no good on weekends.
When they come out to play.
They''re no good for bookends.
Cuz you can''t make ''em stay...hey!
People ain''t no good.
People ain''t no good.
They never do what I think they should.
So people ain''t no good.

--The Cramps

Who seriously cares about Madonna & Britney incident? It''s just a trash floating on the murky surface of pop culture. Too shaky a foundation to build up the arguments about the mores of the entire society and such.

It was a popular typical example of how its chic to not give a flying f*ck about the people who''s attention you hold.

If you want to supply a better example that I''ll wager it wont be too hard to find.

How about all those actors that felt the need to go on national TV to speak their mind on the War on Terror? What about Sean Penn going to Iraq?

A coworker of mine wanted to find lyrics for the rap artist''s CD her 13 year old asked to get for Xmas. I sent her over to songlyrics.com, and guess what she found? Some freaking rough lyrics. So she did this radical thing. She printed them out and asked her son if he knew the lyrics. She let him read them and decide if he still wanted the CD. Apparently he about wet himself with shock since he had not been conciously listening to the lyrics. He asked for something else.

I hear what you all are saying about personal responsibility and all of that. I tend to dwell more on the ""take the plank out of your own eye before removing the splinter from someone else''s eye."" I''ve found that the way to make something I believe in happen, is to very actively *be* that something without telling anyone else they have to. At work, I''m always very straightforward with people, I never cover my ass, and I make it clear what I think is acceptable in terms of behavior around me and towards me. I generally do this in a cheerful, ""gosh since I assume you want to be a good person, you must have not meant to do X."" kind of way, but it''s always worked for me.