One way the community responds to a courageous act, an act of standing out and doing something different is by trying to shame the courageous one.
Instead of rewarding you for caring enough to try, they work to silence you by creating shame.
Shame is the soul killer, the enemy of those who would have courage. Shame is the emotion that is handed to you when you are called out for what have done or what you have said.
“How dare of him to think that he can start his own political party/business/movement and challenge us.” says the shame pole-bearers.
“She never went to a famous/elite/best/most expensive/well-known university, how dare she thinks she can lead us.”
“She is not tall/slender/beautiful/smart/stylish/well-spoken/attractive than me, how dare she think she will get the attention I deserve.”
When they try to shame you they are trying to create an impression that you are not good enough.
The easiest way to avoid shame (which is something that every human being wants to do) is to lie low. Say nothing and do nothing.
If you don’t speak up and don’t act out, it is unlikely that you will be singled out to be shamed.
Fit in and be like everyone else, and no none will pick on you to shame you.
But lying low is now the recipe for ending up far outside what Seth Godin calls Safety Zone.
The industrial revolution convinced you that avoiding attention meant avoiding shame and that obedience led to stability.
While you can still avoid shame by hiding, you won’t find happiness or even stability that way.
The thing with shame is that… it is a choice.
It is worth repeating:
This thing of shame, it is a choice. Shame can’t be forced on you, it must accepted.
You choose to accept shame or to reject it.
The courageous person, the pathfinder, the pioneer, the creative one combines courage with a fierce willingness to refuse to accept shame.
Blame maybe, shame, never.
Realise that you are good enough, and that your imperfections are part of being human.
Shame says because “I’m flawed, I’m unacceptable.” Grace says “though I’m flawed, I’m cherished.”
Where is the shame in using our best intent to do work for those we care about? Where is the shame in doing work that matters, in doing work that makes things better for others?