The feelers we get from the new world is to be liberated in the most unconventional way. It’s the new cool; this campaign for unfettered self-expression regardless of how one is perceived or how it affects others. We are the ones without any scintilla of inhibition. We live for ourselves and ourselves only. We can stand up to anyone. We do not believe that balderdash about respecting people because they are older or on the premise of their senior citizen status. Everyone must prove themselves worthy of our regard else they will be denigrated without a second thought. What’s more, all that righteous indignation about eschewing nudity or being circumspect about divulging details of happenings in our lives are borne out of inexposure and insecurity. We will have none of it.
We are shameless and we are proud because, you see, the ownership of shame is what has held us back for so long. It is the culprit for the judgemental eyes of a society that pins us to a corner–clips our wings, stifles our potential–and prevents us from living our best lives.
Not a few people think this way. The fall-out of this warped thought pattern is the unbridled shenanigans we have to contend with in our socio-physical spaces. Every day, a new level of craze is unlocked, no thanks to the absence of shame. So a pseudo-successful couple is caught in their web of lies and inhumane treatment of employees; rather than apologise and explore avenues to do better, they dig in…because they are lacking the fibre of shame.
Female celebrities who supposedly sit on the role model throne yank off virtual wigs and disclose personal chats because they have long shed the toga of shame. Erstwhile lovers throw the intimacy they once shared into the abyss when they are pissed and all that resonates within them is the need to humiliate the offending party. Disgruntled employees disregard the contract they acceded to and mount a media campaign against their employer, and friends take to the streets of Twitter or Instagram to settle rifts.
We call it gbas gbos. It thrills us to no end, this exciting indiscretion that makes people lose their home training (if they ever had any). We thump each other’s backs and throw our heads back in laughter. We cannot believe the level of entertainment the humiliation of yet another internet bigwig provides. And the undiscerning rabble-rousers too fail to judge the optics correctly, they are unaware that they are no different from the mentally imbalanced who roam the streets, oblivious to the stares and jeers that accompany their display,
Sometimes, it’s that they are past caring. They know they are a nuisance, a source of annoyance and discomfort to others, but they persist in their tomfoolery. For one, it grows their popularity; after all, every publicity is good publicity. Secondly, it sets them apart from the crowd–it makes little difference if this uniqueness is a blessing or a curse. In their heads, their naked dance in the market square is the stuff of legends, a concept simpletons have no latitude to process, let alone demonstrate.
You should get on your knees every day and say a prayer of gratitude to the universe if you are an acknowledger of shame. That you are conscious enough to shun the path of mudslinging or insensible tantrum-throwing is proof that you are still one of the sane ones. That you have not sacrificed your reputation on the altar of faux wokeness and clout chasing is a wonder at a time when everyone is in a competition for who can rain the most insults.
To know shame and do everything within one’s power to avoid it should be the norm and not the exception. If you are feeling invisible or uninteresting because you are careful to avoid situations that put you on a public collision course with another person, you need to snap out of that thinking immediately.
You who are civil and kind and gentle should never find yourself second-guessing the relevance of your virtue. I know it’s hard sometimes; the cantankerous ones seem to get all the attention. They are hailed for their savagery and uncouthness, but the more their negative popularity grows, the emptier they are inside.
A life hinged on validation fuelled by mischief is void of substance.
What happens when the mob grows bored and cease to clap? What’s next when a crazier individual takes the spotlight?
Know shame. You are the sane one.