Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Unearned Guilt? Kick it to the Curb.

Feeling guilty about something you didn't do, don't want to do, and never would do even if you had the chance?  Knock it off.

It seems like so many people are trying to make other people feel guilty for things they didn't do.  Slavery, for instance.  I have never personally owned slaves.  I don't want to own slaves.  And I would never own a slave even if it were suddenly legally and socially okay to do so.  Way back in the long ago, my ancestors owned slaves.  I would venture that anyone whose ancestors were in slave owning countries at the time when it was legal and acceptable can say the same thing.  Do I feel guilty about it?  Should I?

Oh, hell no.  I have no control over what other people did, especially when they lived a couple hundred years ago.

Just like I had no control over any ancestors who may have been Nazis.  (If you have German ancestors, chances are some of them were Nazis or sympathetic to the Nazis.)  Years ago, I dated a man whose family was nearly wiped out by the Nazis.  He is the only son of the only member of his family to make it through the Holocaust, the last of his line.  And, having grown up with tales of my Nazi ancestors, I felt really guilty about his family being destroyed.  I even apologized to him.  And he laughed at me and told me I wasn't responsible in any way for the things those people had done.  Looking back, that was my first step toward shaking off the unearned guilt.

That's what it's called, you know.  Unearned guilt.  When you feel guilty for something you didn't do.  It sucks and we as a species need to chuck it entirely.  You can't be responsible for something you didn't do, so you shouldn't feel guilty about it.

I mean, if you stood by and watched while something horrible happened, then I guess you could.  But that's probably pretty rare.  If I'd had a chance to stop the Nazis, I would've.  (Actual Nazis, not what the left calls Nazis these days - which are pretty much anyone that doesn't agree with them.)  If I'd had the chance to stop slavery, I would've but it was over long before I was born.  (Again, real slavery, not the so-called slavery of a sports figure making loads of cash but having to answer to his team's owner.)

I feel guilty sometimes that I don't do more to stand up against the evils of the world.  I would if I could, but I don't feel like I can.  Frankly, the crazies out there frighten me in staying silent most of the time.  And that's their ultimate goal.

Anyway, if you find yourself feeling guilty about something, ask yourself if you really earned the guilt.  If the answer is no, kick that ol' guilt to the curb.  Life's too short to carry all that crap.


  1. Preach it, sister! I'm feeling very ranterish and soapboxish but I'll refrain. It'll only raise my bloodpressure and it's not fair to you or your readers. We're pretty much on the same page so yeah. We each stand up to the bullies in our own way. We do what we can. Eventually, maybe all those little voices in the wilderness will become a shout that can be heard. In the meantime, this is me. LOL 🤬

  2. I entirely agree. I can't change the past, and I refuse to assume guilt for it. I do feel guilty that I don't have the courage to fight the evil I see on the news, but the crazies have me too scared to try. I like to think I'd do something about a situation right in front of me, but all I could do is scold. And probably get shot.

    But I can vote, and always do, even though it seems like the rest of the state is ignoring me.