harmful and addictive substances

The 2nd of the most harmful and addictive substances on the planet

The second of the most harmful and addictive substances on the planet is . . . .

SHAME

It often travels right behind FEAR.

  • It reminds the footballer how he lost the biggest match of his life. Not just for himself, but for the whole team.
  • It makes the actor pursue a career in film or radio. Just the THOUGHT of walking onto a stage again . . . . makes her drop what she’s doing and RUN to the Ladies’ room to vomit.
  • It makes the politician quit politics permanently, and take on a role in some B law firm.
  • It makes the teenager . . . . avoid looking into the eyes of any girl, anywhere.

The really crazy thing is that it can be INDUCED in you when and where it doesn’t belong.

All you have to do is be publicly associated with some shameful event, and people can induce SHAME into you.

Ask any football-mad German what it’s like when Germany wins the World Cup.

They’re ecstatic, of course. But they also know, they daren’t celebrate too wildly. They daren’t sing Deutschlandlied TOO loudly. (It’s a beautiful hymn, by the way. Really lifts my spirit.)

And they REALLY look carefully about them before wrapping themselves in the German tricolour.

Why?

SHAME.

Not because of anything THEY did.

But because of what just ONE, angry, bitter, resentful . . . . and unfortunately quite clever . . . . German did some 70-80 years ago.

You know his name.

You could argue that it wasn’t JUST him, he had help.

Which is true, in fact. He did.

But those people are almost entirely . . . . DEAD AND GONE.

The Germans you cross paths with today are nothing like them. I’ve spend lots of time in Germany. I love it there. Awesome place to live and work.

Yet something in them still feels SHAME.

Just by association.

That SUCKS.

You know this too, all too well.

If ever find yourself surrounded by a group of people who are all . . . . , you know, THEM . . . . and one of THEM says something you disagree with . . . .

You know the kind of situation I mean. You know the THEM I mean.

You’re the one male, surrounded by agitated, angry females. Victims of sexual harrassment, abuse, or discrimination.

The one white, surrounded by Hispanic, black or indiginous folk who’ve suffered at the hands of cops, or some bitter, crazed modern Hitler.

The one rich kid surrounded by kids from The Projects.

Try. Just TRY. To speak your mind.

Betcha can’t.

In your head, you know:

You’re just inviting a beating.

A rod for your own back.

You can hear their voices in your head, long before you even open your mouth. (Or they, theirs.)

Shut up! YOU, just shut up! YOU know nothing! You haven’t a {EXPLETIVE} clue! You’re one of the ones who’s made our lives hell. You {EXPLETIVE}!

Just Shut. UP! And go away! Who asked your opinion about ANYTHING???!!!

So even when you know what they say isn’t the whole truth . . . . and the THEM know it too . . . .

. . . . it Still Is True. To them. They’re just too angry to not allow it to be true.

And you’re still guilty.

By association.

Folks, that’s SHAME.

Sometimes the association isn’t with people, but with memories.

Memories of events in which you . . . . didn’t exactly shine your brightest, shall we say.

You were . . . . less than the man or woman you could (and should) have been.

You have those moments and memories. So do I.

Those memories are modern-day shackles. That keep you locked up. Preventing you from rising to the occasion, or seizing the opportunity that presents itself before you today.

What’s the third toxin?

See you next post.

(Photo courtesy of  Jair Lázaro on Unsplash.)

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