"When he was alive, Lonesome George was a captive reminder of biodiversity loss. One 2006 book called him 'the only one of his kind left on earth—a symbol of the devastation man has wrought to the natural world in the Galápagos and beyond.' After his death, Washington Tapia, a researcher with the Ecuador National Park Service, told the New York Times it was like losing his grandparents. But even for people less intimate with him did his life and demise serve as a reminder of the mass extinction of species currently underway—the sixth in earth’s history but the only one caused by humans." - Human Error: Survivor guilt in the Anthropocene
Last month NPR reported a story about Bob Ebeling, one of the NASA engineers who tried, and failed, to stop the Challenger launch thirty years ago. His guilt and depression touched the hearts of many listeners, who wrote Mr. Ebeling, telling him he did all he could and wasn't to blame. Those letters have finally helped him move past the guilt.
Dear Sugar: I love my children. But I hate motherhood. "[W]e might be content with loving some parts of motherhood, and not liking others, until we are confronted with the well-intentioned acquaintance who asks, 'Aren’t you just loving every minute of it?!' So we smile, gush 'Yes, it’s wonderful!' and then feel guilty because it really isn’t." [more inside]
a lost possibility: women on miscarriage (an open discussion on a topic that nobody talks about) [more inside]
"When our actions become a reflection of our character, we lean more heavily toward the moral and generous choices" asserts professor Adam Grant (of the Wharton School) in a NYT opinion piece entitled "Raising a Moral Child". Some research suggests that when parents "praise effort rather than ability, children develop a stronger work ethic and become more motivated" and Grant draws sharp distinctions between how shame and guilt affect us citing several experiments and studies which support the conclusions that when teaching children about moral behaviors "nouns work better than verbs" and "if we want our children to care about others, we need to teach them to feel guilt rather than shame when they misbehave." Grant has written an entire book about how these concepts influence our generosity and success, and how powerfully feeling "guilt rather than shame" as children can shape us. [more inside]
A New Theory of PTSD and Veterans: Moral Injury
But as clergy and good clinicians have listened to more stories like these, they have heard a new narrative, one that signals changes to the brain along with what in less spiritually challenged times might be called a shadow on the soul. It is the tale of disintegrating vets, but also of seemingly squared-away former soldiers and spit-shined generals shuttling between two worlds: ours, where thou shalt not kill is chiseled into everyday life, and another, where thou better kill, be killed, or suffer the shame of not trying. There is no more hellish commute.[more inside]
Up and coming? Looking for exposure? Trying to break into a field? You might consider working on spec to get that name recognition, or even... for FREE! But if you are looking for a professional to do something for you, I would strongly recommend you do not ask for it for free. [more inside]
Absolve Big Box shopping guilt! So apparently this bookstore in Boston decided if you can't beat them join them. You can basically buy permission to shop at a big box store...or absolve your guilt depending on how you look at it. Suppose they had to license the concept from the Catholic Church?
"... we are sweeping everything under the carpet, but the oddness is cropping up all over the place. And then, the carpet starts to move…". Michael Haneke, "le manipulateur" who introduced his latest film, Caché, at Cannes with a half-amused “I wish you a disturbing evening”, is the proponent of a "cinema of disturbance". A cinema of loving self-mutilation, where time is non-linear and everything happens in long take shots; in Haneke's world, guilt destroys lives decades after the original sin. All his male characters are "Georges" and his female characters are either "Evas" or "Annas", "because I lack fantasy". Unsurprisingly, he is a Bresson and Tarkovsky fan. He'll direct "Don Giovanni" at the Paris Opera in early 2006: "In 20 years of working in the theater, I only staged one comedy, and that was my single failure".
No shopping. No presents. No guilt.
Seven Deadly Sentiments - Psychology Today explores seven "guilt-provoking, squirm-inducing, I'm-such-a-lousy-person thoughts... At worst, they remind us that we're not quite as nice as we'd like to believe we are. And at best, they may be able to help us understand the deeper reasons behind our wicked thoughts--and forgive ourselves our own trespasses." A long, but interesting read.
Want war without remorse? Take only as directed.