Saturday, December 13, 2008

Guilt and power

Suppose somebody felt that acting for the benefit of another person could only stem from guilt -- rather than a self-oriented joy at seeing someone else happy. They then have a choice: either they assume that guilt on themselves (becoming a self-sacrificial martyr), or they project that guilt onto others (becoming controlling and manipulative). Two sides of the same coin.

The result: if you offer them something out of kindness, they will turn it down, because they feel guilty. However, if they demand something out of you (citing your moral obligation to comply), they would judge you if you refused to comply.

That's how guilt destroys.

The only answer, I think, is a paradigm shift from guilt to enlightened pleasure. Enjoy receiving, because it is good. Enjoy giving, because it is fun.

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