Drums, Guilt and Shame

Shame is hating what you are. Guilt is hating what you’ve done.

Astor Place, New York, NY

A guy named Arthur Koestler once said that, The most persistent sound which reverberates through men’s history is the beating of war drums.

But during WWII, he was onea the people few that kept insisting that Nazis had killed 3 million of his fellows. Took another 2.9 million to die before someone someone stopped them.

I’m against war; only a madman is for it. But someone’s gotta do something about evil men.

Maybe Memorial Day isn’t so much about the kids that marched to the drums so much as it’s about their families who can’t help but hear them pounding.

American flag on Wall Street, NY

Bryson and his wife swung by the other day and brought me out to dinner. She’s pregnant and he’s trying to get his fourth world title in Brazil as a grappler. He’s black, which is important to understand the convo below:

Me: Hey – imagine if he came out Chinese.
Him: I’d kill you. (she laughs)
Me: Please…I’d be long gone and by then you’d be blessed with a handsome son that talked a lot with his hands.

Spent most of the holiday days with Heartgirl walking. To the grocery store, to the pier, to the park. And at night we talked. Like we always do. Told her a bit about myself.

Not to give you back-to-back vocabulary lessons, but do you know the difference between guilt and shame?

When I was a kid, was fat, ugly, and dorky. Then I wasn’t and I became shallow, mean and vain. Then in my 30s, I was humbled.

Shame’s hating what you are. Guilt’s hating what you’ve done.

Told Heartgirl that I spent my younger years dealing with the former and the recent years dealing with the latter. Don’t anymore. Not as much, anywho.

On my arm’s a vaccination scar. Remember getting it. Hurt like hell and I cried like a baby (in my defense, I was a baby).

Now, the purpose of a vaccination, natch, is to trade a small pain in your youth for a better lifetime. But when you’re a kid, you don’t know that.

Think that that’s where we’re all at. The pain’s what we gotta go through to become the person we’re meant to be. But we don’t see it until the pain’s long gone. It’s the forest for the trees.

Told her that sometimes, life has to break you to make you better.

She nodded, kissed me on my cheek, and told me I should go to sleep.

I’m moving. Not far.

Location: 14:00 yest, paying the toll and driving home
Mood: pensive
Music: hear the drums echoing tonight But she hears only whispers
YASYCTAI: Spend just a sec thinking about those drums. (sec/2 pts)

8 replies on “Drums, Guilt and Shame”

Your post reminds me of what my mom once told me – there are no good or bad decisions, just the right decision right at that moment. And those decisions make you who you are. 🙂

i know, it's a lot to keep up with. i just sign up for everything and then don't really keep up with it. but if people do a search for me, they'll be able to find me through many different means… i've gotten a lot of random jobs that way. cast out your nets.on an aside, what ever happened to 72nd and canal and bachelor cooking and rain? i loved all of that stuff. i watch bachelor cooking from time to time and still laugh hysterically.

(It's 2:50 in the morning, when I'm most prone to rambling. Please excuse any bizarre thoughts.)I recently discovered the same difference between shame and guilt… from a book. Ah, well, s'long as I get to the same understanding.On the vaccinations: All of my foreign-born friends have that vaccination scar, but I don't (American-born). Curious.As for the rest of it, I also agree. One of my cliche sayings goes something like: "Everything happens for a reason, even the most heartbreaking and upsetting things, but we often can't see the reason when it happens. We just have to wait a while before we find the reason."(Can you tell, I'm something of a [realistic] optimist?)-R

Alana – Oh, there're bad decisions, there're bad decisions. Trust me, I've made many…Suz – Today's entry has a quickie convo with Rain. We're good friends but we just can't work with each other for prolonged periods of time.Anonymous – thanks for the comment. It's good to be a realistic optimist. In fact, it's just good to be an optimist.

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