Loss of Shame

Where did honor go?

We forge ahead with our day to day routine, bumping into each other along the way like in pinball machines back in the day when you could manually feed all five balls into play.  Mr. Fu thinks that many people are quite courteous, perhaps most.  But there is a growing red tide of impolite, inconsiderate, unthinking humanity out there.

We were headed down the road last evening, some one in a van pulled out in front of one of the cars ahead, causing the car to roughly apply the brakes and honk.   The car continued down the road about 500 feet, slowed for a left hand turn, then swerved across the lane in front of an oncoming vehicle, causing the third vehicle to slam on their brakes and honk.  How much people forget in the intervening 500 feet.

FOGHORN describes a quaint family scene, right out of Shogun or something:

A total failure, all around. One of those meals where you apologize to your family with red-faced shame, then retire to a corner, light a candle, apologize to your ancestors, tie a sash around your forehead, and open your belly with a knife.

FOGHORN is getting to be a rare bird indeed.  He did not create the elements leading to a disastrous meal, but he still felt shame that it did not turn out well.  Too many people would just pass it off onto someone else, and would not “take ownership” (a little corporate lingo) of the situation.

Shame, remorse, kindness, forgiveness, tolerance, self-respect and honor are traits that lubricate the frictional interactions of human beings.   Too many lack the capacity for these traits, and they drive the shrill pitch of man grating against man to an even more unbearable whine.  Each break in the chain makes it harder for the decent people to recognize each other and accentuate the positive.

Mr. Fu regards one of the great Yankee sins was the elimination of dueling.  When the smallest slight could be raised to the level of killing one another, it makes it easier to apologize for the slights.  Sure, some decent people would be getting gunned down.  But how many decent people would be gunning for the abusive miscreant?  More than they could withstand.  Mr. Fu knows plenty of good, honest pistoleros that would cut a bloody swath through the ne’er do wells of our society.  Mr. Fu would pledge his sword to that cause.

And certainly the idea that you could be gunned down for spouting off a stupid opinion would likely stifle the free expression of stupid opinions.  We could use a lot more of that.  Mr. Fu included….

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