Nick Jaworski on the Evolution of Shame

Nick Jaworski on the Evolution of Shame

In This Episode:

Is shame really about power? Can it ever be productive? How has it evolved as we’ve evolved? Shame shows up in our culture in a variety of ways. It can be an internal experience brought on by living outside of our own values. Or it can be imposed on us by people or organizations trying to control or modify our behavior. In this episode, Nick Jaworski and Angela Levesque explore the many facets of this complex emotion. And look at some of the ways it is being used in the age of social media.

Links:

Shame Rules!

Bill Maher on Shame

About the Guest:

Nick Jaworski is a digital audio producer, podcast host, and founder of Podcast Monster, a digital audio production company. Over the past six years, Nick has been producing and editing podcasts with New York Times Best-Selling authors, thought leaders, Silicon Valley tech companies, and other entrepreneurs. His company, Podcast Monster, has produced episodes that have been downloaded over 20 million times and one of his own podcasts, Where There’s Smoke, has been recognized by publications like the A.V. Club’s Podmass.

Currently, Nick is passionate about his new show, Shame Rules!, which explores the hidden ways that shame shapes our world. Each episode explores the way that shame has helped determine the outcome of so many stories. Nick has spent 15 months carefully crafting all six episodes of Shame Rules! In hopes that by understanding how shame shapes our lives, it will help us to navigate the future in a better, more healthy way.

The Laziness of Cancel Culture

The Laziness of Cancel Culture

The tragedy of life is in what dies inside a man while he lives – the death of genuine feeling, the death of inspired response, the awareness that makes it possible to feel the pain or the glory of other men in yourself. ~Norman Cousins

I woke up this morning to the #ThingsWeShouldCancel hashtag trending on Twitter. I know that this hashtag was started with levity in mind and not with the usual manufactured outrage that underpins the cancel culture. But the idea of canceling anything is troubling to me. Humans are complex beings who are facing complex challenges. But the cancel culture requires that we shove people into boxes, flattening them down into one-dimensional characters the can be easily judged and dismissed.

I tried hard not to use the term nuance because along with the words foment and tropes, it has been used so often it’s becoming noise. But it really is nuance that I am talking about. A person or position can rarely be fleshed out in an era of soundbites and social media. I’ve written before about my fear that we aren’t allowing people to be whole humans anymore. A whole human can be messy, irrational, contradictory, but mostly redeeming if we see them in their totality. We should resist the temptation to oversimplify something inherently complex. 

Cancel Culture is Lazy

We, unfortunately, don’t just get to skip to the good parts without doing the work. Not as individuals and certainly not as a society. Besides, there are many differing views on what is ‘good’ anyway. Cancel culture is lazy and reactionary. In a time where we have social media celebrities and influencers with ambiguous societal value, we’ve lost sight of what real change requires (and maybe what the real world is like). Bans, boycotts, cancels provide a short-lived opportunity to gain social currency but don’t catalyze any long term change. People can briefly feel good about themselves while sitting behind a screen. A call-out or cancel lacks the foundation and thoughtfulness needed to avoid unintended consequences. Because we find someone’s thoughts or political leanings offensive doesn’t just mean we cancel them and it goes away. It festers and frankly, recruits. A well-organized rebuttal or in-depth discussion does more for shifting the landscape than a call-out. I think the antidote to talk we don’t like, is more talking rather than canceling.

Inner Work Required

Cancel culture also speaks to a lack of self-awareness and willingness to do some inner excavation. In the spiritual community, we have a name for this type of defense mechanism – spiritual bypassing. It’s when people want to go directly to the love and light without doing the inner work. This way, the person is spared from having to feel any negative ‘vibes’ or emotions. Instead, I think when we are faced with something we are opposed to, it is the perfect time to look at one’s own shit. What are we afraid of? What do we value? Why is someone with a different worldview so threatening?

Grief can be the garden of compassion. If you keep your heart open through everything, your pain can become your greatest ally in your life’s search for love and wisdom.  ~Rumi

 The offense or anger that we feel is really a signal of healing to be done. Yes, there are times when being offended is justified, but then our focus should be on dealing with the root causes and supporting real change. People don’t like to hear this because we hold our feelings in such high esteem that we think they should be protected at all cost. Instead of seeing emotions for what they are. They are data points. They are spikes on a graph that warrant introspection rather than protection. They are the messages from our wounds.

Reclaiming Your Power

This isn’t about blaming the victim it is about putting yourself in charge of your own well-being. Not every slight or rude comment or dissenting opinion should be allowed to interfere with your contentment . And if it does, then the story that frames those feelings should be addressed. That’s where the inner work can become so powerful. The more we heal the stories and emotional trauma within ourselves, the more untouchable we become. We don’t become untouchable by never being touched. We get there by facing adversity and using those challenges to understand who we are and how we show up in the world. Sometimes people are just douche bags and don’t deserve our time, energy, or resources. Please understand, I am not talking about real crime, abuse, or neglect. I’m talking about canceling something because it upsets you or doesn’t fit into your worldview. We can learn more about ourselves listening to contrary ideas than we can in an echo chamber.

So I hope that we can move past our screen warrior mentalities and opt for real-world change. While we may be justified in some of our anger, we don’t move past it as a society by avoiding the people or ideas we disagree with. There will always be bad actors with bad ideas, but we challenge those ideas with better ones. That is the only way we really heal. First we look within and then we look without.

Listen in to the Chaos & Light Podcast as we explore cancel culture further from the perspective of freedom and liberation.

 

(c) Can Stock Photo / focalpoint

 

Cancel Culture and Its Impact on our Inner & Outer Freedom

Cancel Culture and Its Impact on our Inner & Outer Freedom

One of the greatest threats to our personal freedom is the cancel culture. Listen in as we explore why it’s important to be feel uncomfortable and how that helps to liberate us in an increasingly complex world.

What’s In This Podcast?

  • The impact technology has on our social development
  • Cancel culture is a lazy response to complex challenges
  • Cancel culture threatens our freedom of speech
  • The best way to inner freedom is by facing adversity and using it as an opportunity to understand more about who we are and how we show up in the world
  • We are complex humans facing complex challenges and the antidote to bad ideas is better one

Resources

  • A fantastic interview with Ricky Gervais on Making Sense with Sam Harris

 

Want to learn more? Read Canceling Complexity in The Age of Social Media