Social norms are funny things. They force us to wait in line, hold the door for others, sing in an elevator, etc. There are no formal laws that prevent this behavior. We just learn from our parents and the general society that this behavior is not acceptable. And what is the penalty for breaking those tacit norms? SHAME!!
And that is exactly what we need more of in this world.
Wait, what? More shame? That’s no fun. Why can’t we be ourselves and live our live free of shame.
First off, shut up. If you had more shame, you wouldn’t ask such a dumb question.
Secondly, a healthy dose of shame puts us in our place. I think of it as a certain pathway into humility, and humility is the cornerstone of a functional society (says the man with a blog).
Every day I see at least one person shouting at large crowds a bunch of nonsense. Legal? I think so. But everyone in an earshot is made uncomfortable. What do these people not have? Shame.
At the gym, there is a guy who doesn’t bathe. He literally stinks up the entire gym with his rancid BO (and to stink up a gym is a hard thing to do). Legal? Yes. Proper. No. The shame is not present in this man.
From male ponytails to women wearing tube tops that are 7 months pregnant, lack of shame runs wild in society. When we all popped out of our mom, we implicitly signed a social contract that we will not violate these basic tenets of normalcy. So I say to these shameless people this: you are in breach of contract.
Granted, there is something very liberating about having no shame (eg: Kanye West, Honey Boo-Boo’s mom, than Kate plus 8 woman, the octomom); you feel you get to do what you want with no real consequence. But there is a consequence. Not in the form of internal shame like we would want for these people, but in the form of the slow erosion of society.
So before you start dancing in public or uploading drunk pictures of you on Tinder, think of one word….