Guilt, Fear, Shame to most, these words would mean similar things. However they are not as similar as you think. How are they similar? They are all factors of motivations, it makes people act, behave and do things in a certain way. Most things in our lives, especially in today’s environment and settings, are often based on these few main motivators. My argument, is that these motivators are weak and kind of hopeless at governing people. It tends to force people to drag themselves through life, feeling miserable, just because they couldn’t fulfill certain desires.
Fear, Guilt and shame are not the same things, even though most people generally accept them mentally as similar enough to substitute with one another.
Fear. can be seen as an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat – Wikipedia. It is self-protection. I am a god-fearing man, hence I practice religion to a “T”. Really now? you pray out of fear? Weak minded fool. Seemingly fear dictates that either you have to fight, run, face certain death or bend over and take it up the pooper, in an extreme circumstance or even in mundane circumstances. Most people would pretend that they do not really feel fear. Is this the case? Well, in a place like Singapore, there is much to fear. You spit, 200 dollars fine. Throw a cigarette butt? same price. You bring in drugs of a certain weight? We’ll hang you. Well. The law is a motivator of sorts, to instill fear in people, to ensure that these “unwanted” behaviours are governed. That is, to say that the law is actually effective, such as in the case of Singapore.
Guilt. Is what most people who go into confession feel. It is that uneasy feeling that you have done wrong, by your own judgement or perhaps by the adapted judgement of others and you feel repentent, but you feel that it is never enough that you simply feel sorry. Some people go to places of worship to deal with guilt, others, well, some of them would go and meet god personally, if you get what i mean. Well. Again, it is a motivator, it could cause you to become more religious, it could cause you to end your own life and such.
Shame. Also another concept that is very close to religion. “You should be ashamed of yourself”, commonplace in the home when you’re getting scolded by your parents, or whoever, maybe even teachers at school. Well. Shame? really, it is basically what you feel when everyone around you resents you for something you did. i.e, you whipped out your weiner at dinner. That is shame, especially if you’re above the age of 5, which most of you reading this probably are.
Why do I consider these weak motivators? Well, for someone who is a grown adult, (im excluding kids cause it can sometimes be effective as a motivator for kids), you have your own views, you understand your wants and your needs better. However, a large amount of people are governed by fear. The fear to talk to someone, perhaps someone you really fancy. Only to regret it later. This example is commonplace. What if the fear drives you to do something postive, say, you do everything that you can to avoid say, losing your grades. This again, is a weak motivator as fear in itself, cannot drive you to excel in anything. Maybe it would drive you to excel in killing yourself, but thats about it. Most of the time when you feel this fear, it seems like a strong motivation, “I will study else I fail”. But if you do study and you still fail? what happens then?
Same goes for guilt, making people feel guilty is a trick of the trade for some, erm, spiritually enriched organizations, as I would call them. Why? Because guilt makes you keep coming back, I feel guilty hence I pray to cleanse my sins. Well, that might make sense to the large percentage of people in the world, however, if you look at it, praying because you feel guilty is kind of silly. Penance, is nonsense. Praying because you are thankful, that is another issue altogether. That is my argument. If you do something for someone out of guilt, you are going to do it heavy headed and half-assed. Wherease if you are doing it because you are thankful, or maybe even without a real physical reason, you just feel like say helping someone, because because. Y’know? It would foster a stronger mindset as you are doing it.
Shame, oh shame, people a many have killed themselves for this concept. Well, I think you know what I am going to say, so, kind of no point saying it. Doing things for shame is R.E.T.A.R.D.E.D. Some people have gone to great lengths to try to cover up something small that is shameful, by one upping themselves and doing perhaps even more shameful things. Well. Think about it.
Well, for the sake of argument, you could say that shame, guilt and fear does play their part in shaping things as they are, or as they will be. Though, wouldn’t it be better to teach people to be passionate about the positive things or behaviours, instead of fearing, feeling guilty or ashamed of the negative things or behaviours?