I’ve been thinking a lot about the nature of shame recently. I’m not sure that I have drawn any particular conclusions, but I’m going to try to work out some of my thoughts here over my half of the devotionals. Increasingly, I notice a certain public outcry against any form of shaming. That is, when a seemingly innocent person is publicly shamed, the social media world cries out against it. However, it seems that, equally increasingly, when someone has done something the social media world considers objectively “wrong” it (or we) react through heaping shame upon the wrongdoer. How can it be that shame is both inherently wrong and our culture’s default justice mechanism?
I think the answer to that is because shame is an incredibly effective device. It deeply wounds people. It’s traumatic. Because of this, we’re very uncomfortable with the idea of shaming someone innocent and smugly appreciative of shame heaped on someone who is “getting what they deserve”.
I find this troubling, and I’m not exactly sure why. More to come.