As I was walking around Costco shopping for Mother’s Day stuff, these thoughts came back to the surface. I can only touch on them here. They are troublesome, poignant, and arise frequently.
Though I don’t currently have any data (even if they would make any difference), living in America today seems to leave one wondering how to prioritize one’s senses of guilt and entitlement*. With respect to guilt, among many others, the issues of slavery, women’s roles and rights, abundance as compared to the rest of the world, and superpower-hood all vie for a place in the shadows of our self assessment. As for entitlement, it’s probably the same set of issues with different claimants that balance out the dichotomies. Wherever we fall individually on each issue, we come up wanting or come up wanting, here appealing to two different senses of the word.
How do we measure the impact and cost of personal and collective guilt and entitlement on all of us? Maybe we wouldn’t want to know even if we could? I hope we can learn to give it up for Lent or Passover or Ramadan or whatever. It’s an indulgence we cannot afford.
Generally, we deserve to be happier than we think we deserve. We are miserably poor judges of such things — and, consequently feel entitled to feel guilty about being so.
Ah, Costco. A place of dark inspiration.
*the yin to guilt’s yang