We now absolve ourselves by simply denying guilt. Even the hint of criticism is charged as an offense. This fear of shame has run so rampant that a false feeling of innocence has turned into outright narcissism.
You are not a good person. I am not a good person. Let’s admit our faults, make amends, and try to be better.
Two of my children are in an art class together. It’s not going well. The teacher does not have much control over the class and favours the returning and skilled students. My two children tend to stick together (good on them), but often get to acting up. Today was particularly bad. The director of the art school had to speak to us about it after class. Their tone was serious, but also apologetic. The report ended with a complement about the children’s art.
At home we reflected on this a bit and decided to call the school. We told them that we were extremely sorry about the disruption and requested the children be split up into different classes and if that was not possible, we would voluntarily remove them from the class. The director was flabbergasted. We were apparently the first parents not to get immediately defensive about their children’s bad behaviour.
They are so afraid of defensive parents that the facts cannot even be stated without being padded with multiple compliments. We were thanked several times and given a free class in addition to accommodation of our request.
The moral of the story: in today’s culture, all you have to do is not be an asshole to be a hero.