Shame on you! One mom and expert psychologist thinks our leaders and icons need to live up to their responsibilities -- as role models and as human beings.
Dr. Michelle Golland: Shame and humility -- that is the difference between Kanye West and Congressman Joe Wilson and their respective apologies for "mistakes" they both made publicly. Kanye's apology of course is to Taylor Swift, and Rep. Joe Wilson's is to President Obama and the U.S. Congress.
The difference is that Kanye is fully expressing and experiencing the shame of his behavior. He is acting with humility and despair for his actions. His appearance on Jay Leno was a moving moment of contrition. He truly desires to make amends to Taylor Swift, and to all of us who witnessed this hurtful moment created only by him.
I do not see the same thing with Representative Joe Wilson. I see a man who has apologized to President Obama, but is not showing much shame or humility about his actions. He seems somewhat indignant about all the hoopla around his "mistake." He saw no reason for apologizing on the floor of Congress.
Wilson is not willing to apologize on the floor of Congress to all of his colleagues as well as President Obama on principle. What principle is he talking about? The "principle" of haughtiness and defensiveness when one is shown to have made a mistake? When he shouted on the floor of Congress in an attempt to humiliate our president, Wilson not only offended Obama's dignity, he offended the body of Congress and all of us as Americans.
True remorse and regret come with the high price of shame and humility. It often requires taking action that can be painful and humiliating for us. You see, that is the emotional cost of our mistake. When we push ourselves to do the difficult thing -- the hard apology we know is deserved -- only then are we truly free from the burden of it.
I believe Kanye is free from his burden, but Representative Wilson needed to be admonished by the House of Representatives on Tuesday, which could have been avoided had he taken the walk of shame to the podium to apologize on his own initiative. Such an act may have helped him be more of the "decent" man his colleagues have continually claimed he is. I feel sorry that he did not have the strength of character to take this opportunity to experience the shame and humility that was required by his mistake.
|Dr. Michelle Golland is a USC graduate and a licensed Clinical Psychologist (PSY#16974). She works with adults, teens and is an expert in the field of marriage and relationships. Dr. Michelle Golland has given her expert advice on CNN, HLN, MSNBC, ABC, and Fox news. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two wonderfully exhausting children.|