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Guilt and Society

The guilt that comes with being human no matter who we are is quite troubling. I’m sure no matter who you are, you can relate to what I’m talking about. We all have that voice inside of us telling us that we are not good enough. We all have that innate guilt. At least, I have come to think of it as ingrained. In reality, that voice, that feeling, isn’t innate at all.

human role in the world

No one is born with this feeling of guilt or the feeling of not being good enough. We are told to be a certain way, whether with spoken words or through being taught and conditioned over a lifetime. If those roles are not fulfilled correctly in our minds, we feel responsible.

Conditioning:

Look around you, and you will find many people you are given examples of that you told are supposed to be like. Those people could be your parents, your friends, or even superman. There will be a profession, gender, and other traits attached to that person. You will be taught and repeatedly told how to act. That when you grow up, you will be just like so and so.

You will be compared to certain types of people, a specific gender, and so on. You are conditioned to think and act a certain way. If you fail to accumulate, you are bound to feel guilty completely. This is not the kind of guilt we can share with anyone as we think we are not good enough. That is why we are not able to do all these things.

The comparisons may not be wholly baseless, but people are in different places in their lives. It’s not always fair to compare and make adults compete.

Roles:

Everyone plays a particular role in society. So do you. Who you are is defined by who you want to be Or at least that how it should be defined.

Now people don’t play one role. One person plays many different roles; you can be a parent, a teacher, a student, and a role model, all wrapped into one. Those are all your roles in society. What role is more critical, and what you make your primary role depends on you. Nobody should make that decision for you.

That, however, never is the case. We are not given the option to decide for ourselves. Who is to say that a teacher’s role is less important than the role of the parent. After all those students are other people’s children.

You might be putting in extra hours at work as a teacher and getting shunned by your family for not being a good parent. Your reasons and arguments are valid. The guilt you feel for not being around is also valid. Who is to decide molding minds and helping a whole society is less important than being there for your own children.

The guilt, over which role should be your primary role is real because the society has already decided that your primary as a parent and by putting more effort as a teacher you are breaking the societal rules.

If none of this sounds familiar, congratulations you have life figured out and you are doing better in life than most adults.

Modeling:

Modeling is pretty similar to conditioning. You do what you see. You find yourself imitating the roles and lives of people that you relate to the most. Sometimes it’s people that you feel the strongest connection to and many times it’s the people that you are told you are supposed to be imitating and modeling.

As you grow into adulthood as a woman you may be told that you will one day take on the responsibilities of your older sister. Or that you will have to do what your mother does.

Most men know they have to be their fathers in the sense that they have to be caretakers of the household. From a young age they learn to watch over their sisters and mother because they see their father do it.

Boys always feel the pressure of their studies and finding a decent job. The burden of inadequacy can be devastating and bring on guilt in so many ways. Everything that goes wrong in the household in their adulthood might feel like it’s their fault.

Many young women feel they can never measure up to their mothers. They feel guilt over not working as hard as their moms do without realizing that their mothers share similar feelings towards their mothers.

The list of reasons why we feel guilty can go on. These are the three main sociological reasonings that contribute to the guilt and increase in responsibility for most people. The reason its important to discuss this is because we fail to recognize that we have this burden. We fail to find the cause for all those unresolved problems that come with the territory.

We know we are feeling something. What happens when we know we are not measuring up. What is the feeling when we are told that our friend or our brother has already made it by our age? What’s that feeling when we see someone who has the same qualifications as us on social media doing great things that we have yet to achieve? Sure there is a feeling of disappointment in our selves but theres also a feeling of not being good enough theres guilt. We feel guilty for not accomplishing everything that we should have.

We feel there was a deadline. Someone without saying it, said it. Someone maybe actually said it. A date, an age. A number; An amount of money you should have been making. A place you should have been living in. You should have been doing what someone else is doing because there was a competition.

Here is the reality though. These might seem like words that don’t go with your reality but I would like for you to really think about it and change the way you see your reality because anything can change if you allow yourself. Just let yourself off the hook. Give yourself permission to live the life you want. Let yourself go from the guilt of what others have wanted from you. You are good enough for who are right now. Don’t feel bad for what has not happened yet. Also, live for yourself not for others. Don’t let anyone else decide for you.

That person you are competing with doesn’t have your life, they do not have your challenges and your blessings. You do not know all of their challenges and their blessings. They might be facing stuff that you don’t know about that they don’t blast on social media.

I might be preachy but you kind of know I am right. Guilt only takes us backwards. Way forward is with forgiveness for ourselves and confidence in our ability to achieve greatness.

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