It’s a shame
We need it, but not a lot
The main argument for shame is Trump, who manages to operate without a trace of it. Its absence is dangerous, bigly.
So I’m all for a self-imposed restraint on ego. Those instincts are the glue that makes society possible.
But the other extreme of being full of shame is just as damaging. Shame can paralyse, the fear of judgement making any action almost impossible. It’s easy to slip into this because it’s more comfortable not to ask the question, not to make that assertion, not to share your thoughts.
When you’re in the grip of these fears, it’s hard to give the best of yourself, but it’s worth trying. You may find that the worst that happens is that you are ignored. And even that is the kind of feedback you can use constructively. You’ll more likely find that people are encouraging — most people want and like to help.
We need people with humility and self-knowledge to be active in making the world a better place and we particularly need those qualities in our leaders. So let’s use the fears, that would otherwise hold us back, like a compass and head towards where it feels uncomfortable.