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Unformatted text preview: elf-disapproval. Usually it is acute and, like fear, it tends to
make the individual hide or fly. It is based on insight, and there are thus some who are never ashamed, simply
because they do not understand disapproval. Shame is essentially a feeling of inferiority, and when we say to a
man, "Shame on you," we say, "You have done wrong, humble yourself, be little!" When we say, "I am
ashamed of you," we say, "I had pride in you; I enlarged myself through you, and now you make me little."
When the community cries shame, it uses a force that redresses wrong by the need of the one addressed to
vindicate himself. When a man feels shame he feels small, inferior in his own eyes and in the eyes of others.
He feels impelled, if he is generous, to make amends or to do penance, and thus he recovers his self-esteem.
Unfortunately, shame arises more frequently and often more violently from a violation of custom and manner
than from a violation of ethics or morals. Thus we are more ashamed of the so-called "bad break" than of our
failures to be kind. Sometimes our fellow feeling is so strong that we avoid seeing any one who is humiliated
or embarrassed, because sympathy spreads his feeling to us. Gentle people are those who dislike to shame any
one else, and often one of this type will endure being wronged rather than reprimand or cause humiliation and
shame. Let something be said to shame any member of a company and a feeling of shame spreads through the CHAPTER IX. 77 group, except in the case of those who are very hostile.
Disgust, too, is extremely contagious, especially its manifestations. One of the most crude of all
manifestations, to spit upon some one, is a symbol taken from disgust, though it has come to mean contempt,
which is a mixture of hatred and disgust.
To raise the tastes and not raise the acquisitions is a sure way to bring about chronic disgust, which is really an
angry dissatisfaction mixed with disgust. This type of reaction is very common as a factor in neurasthenia. In
fact, my motto is &qu...
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- Spring '11