Saturday, August 11, 2007

This thing called Guilt

I am just thinking - Is GUILT a natural human emotion? My way of finding out whether something is natural or learned is to look at two groups - animals and children.

Do animals have any feelings of guilt? No, I don't mean your "Tommy, you peed on the couch's leg again. Bad dog!" kind of guilt where tommy flashes a sorry face at his owner in response. I mean natural born feelings. I don't think animals have any emotion of guilt. They do what they want to do, or need to do, and do it when where they feel like doing it.

The same goes for children. If they had any feelings of guilt or propriety, you wouldn't have to potty-train them. Children also do as they please, when they please.

Somewhere between childhood and youth we acquire this feeling of guilt. If the boy is watching TV, at the back of his mind he has a guilty feeling that his mom already reminded him of homework.

When a couple is having sex, they maybe reminded of the fact that they are not married and what they are doing maybe considered sin or a bad deed in the eyes of the church and/or the society. Isn't that where the phrase "walk of shame" comes from?

As a matter of fact, there are a lot of examples where one part of your mind is busy enjoying something while a little part of your mind is busy rationalizing it, trying to put away the guilt.

Not all the things we do are fine, and there is such a thing as a good or bad, but some time, I think, we should pause for a moment and think about how much of our guilt is real and how much just our attempt to live our life our own way defying the norms forced on us by society.

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