I am always questioning guilt: not the law and order duh duh duh guilt, but the guilt that people feel or are made to feel because they did, or didn’t do something. I consider guilt a useless emotion- it rarely does anyone any good.
So now that you know my feelings about guilt, I’ll tell you about a quote (oh no- I’m doing a quote again…)
I’m reading for book club, The Empathy Diaries by Sherry Turkle. It’s a memoir of a Jewish girl growing up in Brooklyn post WWII.
I’m going to give you what she writes, taken from her memories of Rabbi Wagner, who taught Sunday School when she was young: (I believe this was about 1958 when Sherry was 10ish)
Jews, the rabbi explained to his round eyed charges in the basement, lived in a kind of silence about their experience of persecution. Because if you confront gentiles about their crimes against Jews, these gentiles will turn on you. This was not a good thing, he said, but as a survivor, he understood it. You could not live a life among gentiles if you made them feel guilty every daySherry Turkle
This stood out to me as I was reading the book.