Saturday, June 10, 2006

Take that monkey off your back!

"I've had a few arguments with people, but I never carry a grudge.
You know why? While you're carrying a grudge, they're out dancing."
- Buddy Hackett

The message to avoid carrying around guilt or grudges can't be repeated too often. People in western societies hold onto grudges and guilt so tightly that you would think they hold these as dearly beloved values. But why?

Western societies, at their core, were founded on Christian values. One of the basic tenets of Christianity is original sin. Since Eve tempted Adam with her comely wiles, and the easily duped Adam succumbed to the lady's wish to munch on that apple, Christian leaders have held to the belief that everyone who followed bears the guilt of that sin. And a few others our forebears have committed along the way.

Almost no one except fundamentalist Christians believes in the Adam and Eve tale. It was intended as a myth, which is a fictional story that could easily be remembered and repeated orally, intended to convey a truth about life. (If you think a myth is anything different, I invite you to read Current Commentary on my web site at But do it soon as I plan to change the page tomorrow.)

The life lesson of Adam and Eve was that stealing (with the corollary of covetting) is wrong, against the fundamental rules of God. It's so important that one philosophy claims that all crimes, misdemeanors and immoral acts may be interpreted as forms of stealing. Murder, for example, steals the benefit of a family member away from others in the family. Speeding in a car steals the right of others to safe roads.

While Jewish law (Christianity and Islam claim Jewish history as their own prior to the teaching days of their respective founders) makes theft important, it makes the guilt associated with the breaking of any law even more important in a moral sense. That is, guilt for your sins will follow you for the rest of your life. You can be forgiven for other sins, but you will not forgive your own guilt.

We in western countries were taught, as very young children, to feel guilt for doing wrong. In turn, we believe that others who do wrong should also feel guilty. When they apparently do not suffer overtly with their guilt, we harbour grudges because they are not suffering. They're guilty, they should suffer! Preferably in the fires of hell.

Each time I write about this topic, I receive replies saying that it would be best to drop our grudges and guilt, but it's not that easy. And I prove my point.

By the age of five years, we have absorbed the basic pinciples that will guide us for the rest of our lives. That is, they will unless we take measures to change them because it becomes important to us to change them.

Grudges and guilt are self imposed burdens that may be abandoned as quickly as you can make a decision. The others who are objects of our obsessions rarely feel any guilt. We do it to ourselves.

Is this not masochism of a sort, taking pleasure from our own self-harm? I don't think so. People who feel guilt or grudges don't really want to suffer. They just do because that is how they were taught. If they take pleasure in it, it's be cause it has become comfortable to them.

In turn, they teach the same lessons to their children. It's nurturing, but it's as effective as genetic wiring.

How do you want this article to end? Do you feel that you would like to change this situation? If so, then take yourself to my web site and see how to do it.

Are you helpless, only one individual against the whole world, so you might as well give up and accept the way things are? If you say so. I disagree. I know there are a huge number of people who want lots of things to change, but don't know how to do it.

So I wrote a book about it. You don't have to read the book if you like things the way they are. The book is for people who want to make major changes, easily and cheaply, without a revolution. Think it can't be done? Then don't check my web site and by all means don't read the book. If you read the book, you will know that you are not helpless. You won't have that as an excuse any more.

Some people want better lives for themselves, for their children and grandchildren, for their neighbours, for their countrymen and for the whole world. Only those people shold take the trouble to read further.

For the rest of you, you're excused now.

Bill Allin
'Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today's Epidemic Social Problems,' striving to put solutions before you in easy to implement and cheap plans. Easy to read too.
Learn more at

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