I really don’t know where I heard this from but it didn’t come from me; the idea that guilt, before we act, is in essence what morality is. I had a google to find the thinker but it seems to be intertwined in some serious academic journals and I’ve been consciously staying away from all of that since I left Uni – cause I’m worth it. Not really, I just can’t keep my brain alert and end up not even skimming it but what I’d call ‘would-be skimming’. Where you think you are skim reading, I mean you seem to be mouthing the words so at least 30% of the content must be registering right? But spending 10 minutes doing so, you find nothing actually did.

Guilt – I often find myself using it interchangeably with regret. As in, even if you regret not taking an opportunity, if you are now suffering the consequences of the omission, you feel guilt which then forms into fully-fledged regret because of the outcome. So, guilt is perhaps the feeling before the act and regret is how you package it up and carry with you.

Useful? I think so. Up to a point of course. Guilt is what makes sure you are less likely to repeat mistakes. Whether it is guilt because you broke your own moral code or guilt derived solely the outcome. The latter means you may have acted in good faith (or at least believed you weren’t doing anything outwardly wrong) but the outcome changed the meaning of the action. An ‘Oops’ moment. ‘Didn’t think that would happen’. This has connections with a mere accident because there was no intent, not even awareness. I think you may be right to blame one for carelessness but not for malicious intent. So, there are likely practical lessons to be learned, but your morality doesn’t need the upgrade. Turning this into regret is pointless. Just process the guilt and derive the lesson – the midpoint is unnecessary.

It is probably more useful if you feel guilt before an act; take it as a warning. You are supposed to read into it and react. An indication that maybe you are about to do something that doesn’t align to your moral values, maybe it is time to rethink. Regret, down the line, also serves a purpose, the same as guilt does but not if you decide to carry regrets for far longer than you need to. Not if you’ve already learned the lessons.

The intent, guilt, regret, action and inaction = all part of the cycle, where you choose what’s important and for how long.


2 thoughts on “Guilt

Add yours

  1. I think that as I get older, the number of things I regret shrinks but the number of things I feel guilty for grows. I don’t think it necessarily means that I beat myself up to no end. It simply means that I am aware of how my actions affect others but still choose to put myself first (and realize that regret is generally a burden it does no good to carry).


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at

Up ↑


We are cups, constantly being filled. The trick is, knowing how to tip ourselves over and let the beautiful stuff out.

When I Ride...

How life coaches me as I ride...

Extracting Value

The blog is dedicated to the people which care about their goals, dreams , actions including the ones that have paused , slow down or even stopped moving forward.

Rise Like Air

We conspire to inspire through the celebration of hope as we rise above challenges, no matter what they are. "But still, like air, I'll rise." Maya Angelou

Maybe Today Won't Suck

A Motivational Blog

My Voice Is Yours

Becca Jones - @myvoiceisyours

P.S. Barbosa

~ In Pursuit Of ~

Alice Wake Up

Give Life a Meaning

The World As Eye See It...

One of the Great Joys of Being Human is Our Ability to See the World Through Our Own Eyes.../Shannon May

Cake By the Ocean

No oceans, maybe some cakes, definitely music, and all my passions

Honest K

Masking insecurities with humour and sarcasm since 1987

Life Calls

Life is random and always changing

Tan M Butler

A novelist storytelling the train of thought

What Living Taught Me

Observing makes me curious and curiosity makes me a Learner. This Blog Admires Motivation

%d bloggers like this: