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“Shame off you,” he said.
It was the first time I’d heard that term, and I was a little taken aback until I realized that he was exactly right. Shame is something we wear, like a wet, smelly blanket someone dons for no good reason. Some bully at some point threw it over the person’s shoulders, and unless that person chooses to shrug it off, there it stays, and the bully wins.
If shame stays on that person, it will saturate everything in their life and leave an odor that eventually the wearer and those around them just get used to. Shame might become an excuse for failure, or a tool they use to manipulate others. Shame dominates the individual wearing it, or it’s a weapon in the hands of those who wield it. It’s more dangerous than a virus, more destructive than a riot, and more deadly than a bullet.