Most people I know have a to-do list so long that it’s not clear that there’s an end to it. Some tasks, even quite important ones, linger unfinished for a long time, and it’s easy to start feeling guilty or ashamed about what you have not yet completed.
People experience guilt and its close cousin shame when they have done something wrong. Guilt is focused internally on the behavior someone has committed, while shame tends to involve feeling like you are a bad person, particularly in the context of bad behaviors that have become public knowledge.
The fundamental question is whether these feelings are a good thing. To answer that, it’s worth quoting the movie Bridge of Spies. Mark Rylance plays the spy Rudolf Abel. He’s asked at one point whether he is worried, and he responds, “Would it help?”
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