Affirm often; always respect.

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Never, ever, intentionally shame anyone.  Always aim to affirm, or at least be respectful.

Even if only out of respect for yourself.

So much of how we treat others is a reflection of the health of our own soul.  I’ve never known a form or practice of shaming that does anyone any good.  Even (especially) if you are in a position of authority (e.g., responsible to protect, or teach), and you believe correcting someone else’s behavior is necessary, shaming bad behavior doesn’t tend to end it; rather, affirming or pointing toward a desirable behavior is more effective.  What is most efficacious is modeling healthy behavior, and underlying all good human-behaving is respecting human-being.

Even if someone else’s actions must be stopped, and you are in a position to do so (you have the authority and opportunity), it’s possible to intervene without deprication.

I believe shaming is based on hatred or objectification.  If you desire to shame someone, you must either despise them as a human-being or not even see them as another person.  Since I believe each human person is sacred at their core, and because I don’t want to foster hatred or reviling another in my heart, I have no use for shaming.

And I most certainly refuse to accept shame.

I am so convicted about this because of the faux-shame I experienced as a child when teased and as a youth when sexually abused.  Then, I took responsibility for others’ bad behavior; that is faux-shame.  Now I still contend with the wounds those offenses inflicted, and their residual scars which include faux-shame. As an adult, I have to do the work to heal those wounds and salve those scars.  One way to heal myself is to never inflict the same on anyone else!

There is so much more that can be said on this subject, but I want to keep these MLR’s brief.  The thing to remember is your own dignity.

Out of respect for your own sacred person, see the sacred in others, even if they seem to have momentarily hidden it from themselves!



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