Catholic/Jewish/Chinese Guilt

I goobed at work yesterday.

Though I was assured that it was fixable by a very kind colleague (and in my defense I did not have all the facts, there there was a miscommunication element and I told the truth) that did not stop me from playing the conversation over and over (and over and over) in my mind.

To clarify, I am neither Catholic nor Jewish. I am Chinese-Canadian, born in Canada, small “b” Buddhist (Buddhist by association or Buddhist-lite if you will). I hate labels and am not a believer in organized religion but if I have to associate myself with a religion, Buddhism is about one of the more benign. 

I joke to my friends that I should have been Catholic or Jewish- the guilt I carry around is huge. I am one of those over-thinkers, think Hamlet without the death and carnage in the final act. I blame my upbringing for my intense feelings of personal responsibility.

I know guilt is counter-productive and slightly indulgent but the wave of shame, paranoia, remorse and self-reproach washes over you and it just builds and feeds on itself.

A friend of mine would have an insightful quote from someone famous and much more articulate to sum up the situation with truth and a touch of irony.

Alas, my memory doesn’t work that way and all I can tell myself is what is done is done and at the end of the day, all we can do is the best we can do.

Now of only the hives would go away…


~ by angryegg on November 14, 2008.

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