Remorse Is What Turns Evil Into Good

Remorse Is What Turns Evil Into Good

We don't regret bad things we did to pay a price - no. That price is often never something we're capable of paying. We regret to learn, become better people, and turn the suffering we inflicted into hope, and ultimately to turn evil into good.


We are all human and do bad things. We feel bad for these bad things we did. Remorse is a healthy response, but self-condemnation is not. Remorse is defined as "deep regret or guilt for a wrong committed," while self-condemnation is defined as "the act or an instance of condemning one's own character or actions." For the bad things I've done in my life, I go back and forth between the two, and I am also writing this article to see how to waver more so on the side of remorse than self-condemnation.

Self-condemnation, to me, is the feeling that you're not good enough, that you should be something you currently are not. In a spiritual context, for those that are religious, self-condemnation is the act of putting yourself in the position of God. Why? According to Christine Hoover, "the Holy Spirit convicts - we don't convict ourselves." When we convict ourselves, it makes us center on ourselves. "I'm not good enough," "I need to try harder and be better at this," or "my past mistakes define me" are examples of this kind of self-conviction. We are not meant to go to the cross. Jesus did. It is almost a point of arrogance and pride to wallow extensively in our shame and try to pay Christ's shame ourselves.

But enough of theology - another point against self-condemnation is the fact that we rarely tell other people they should condemn themselves. So why should we do it for ourselves? Lara D'entremont writes that "when we wish the sadness would go away, we murmur to ourselves that we deserve it. It's almost as if we believe that self-condemnation helps pay the price for the sin. We make it more forgivable by suffering for it." Naturally, self-condemnation is extremely self-centered.

All of us know this, but how do we stop ourselves from our often natural inclination to condemn ourselves? Even though the line between the two isn't as thick as this article may put it, the answer is remorse.

Remorse is the ability to humble oneself and healthily repent for past mistakes. For example, we often feel remorse not only for the consequences of our actions, but also the intentions behind them. Few can argue that cheating on a partner comes with good intentions. When you condemn yourself, you do not forgive yourself. But when you feel remorse, you can take responsibility for your actions and forgive yourself simultaneously. And it's also important to differentiate between forgiving yourself and letting yourself off the hook: the difference is whether you take responsibility.

Again, I waver between the two and go back and forth all the time. Sometimes I really do internalize that some things I've done are so bad that I deserve the cross, and that feeling is a terrible offshoot of remorse. But the difference between a good and bad person, I've been told, is the ability to feel remorse for bad actions in the first place. It's a lot easier not to feel remorse if you can and not take any responsibility for your actions. After all, Thomas Hobbes once said that life is "solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short," so there will always be a part of ourselves that may question whether we should have consciences and feel remorse for our past misdeeds in the first place.

So what should we do when we feel remorse? Famous psychologist Phillip Zimbardo, the architect behind the highly controversial and questionably unethical Stanford Prison Experiment, instructs us to "take a few deep breaths and examine why you created this past negative experience...Realize that what's done is done and while you can't change the past, you can choose not to recreate the situation in the future by working through your experiences in the present." Remorse is a wonderful emotion in that when we feel it so strongly, and not to the point of condemning ourselves, we are pushing ourselves to vow that we will never make the mistake again.

With remorse, we always learn important lessons, and that emotion, however painful it is to feel, is the fuel we use to turn shit into gold, evil into good. According to Zimbardo, we can always be thankful not for the mistakes we made or the ways we hurt others profoundly, but the lessons we learned in the aftermath. "We have the opportunity to learn from it and live through it. We can choose to become a better, more enlightened person and create for ourselves a brighter, kinder, more compassionate future."

So to feel remorse instead of its cancerous offshoot in self-condemnation, we need to remind ourselves that life goes on regardless of the decisions we make. Just wallowing in our shame isn't allowing life to go on, but rather an attempt to be Jesus. The goal isn't to be Jesus Christ when we think about our past mistakes. The goal is to be more like Jesus, because there are always going to be millions of ways we fall short of being God. We don't regret bad things we did to pay a price - no. That price is often never something we're capable of paying. We regret to learn, become better people, and turn the suffering we inflicted into hope, and ultimately to turn evil into good.

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Stop Yelling At Me For Being Conservative

What you shouldn't say to millennial Republicans.

Society today has a funny way of making Republicans seem like the scum of the Earth. The funniest thing is that it's actually not funny at all — it's an ignorant, rude way to treat people. See, America these days seems to be all about treating everyone fairly. That is, until differing opinions come about. How dare we Republicans view economics and politics differently? How dare we have our own opinions? How dare we identify as Conservative people, even as young adults?

So, without further ado, here are some things that I, a millennial Republican, am beyond tired of hearing.

"You're just a college girl, what do you know about politics?"

Yeah, I'm a basic white girl. I wear Converse to class and my sorority's letters are on my rear windshield. Guess what, though — I do my research. I've been following the presidential campaigns for months now. I've watched the debates, read the articles, visited the websites and studied the polls. I may be in a sorority and I may wear Converse, but I know what I'm talking about when it comes to this stuff. So, if you ask for my opinion, be prepared to hear a well-thought-out, educated answer.

"You only believe what your parents raised you to believe."

No, actually. My parents raised me to understand the value of hard work. They made me get a job when I was 16 years old so I could learn how to budget, save and provide for myself. My parents did not teach me to rely on other people to get what I want. My parents did not teach me to accept handouts. Therefore, I believe that success comes from hard work and dedication. I believe that each individual is responsible for his or her own success (along with his or her own property and obligations), hence why I identify as a Conservative.

"You're voting for him?!"

Yeah! I am! Funny, I thought we were all entitled to our own opinion. It turns out this is my opinion, and [insert candidate] has my vote. Cool how that works, huh?

"The GOP candidates this time around are horrible."

It doesn't take an idiot to see that none of the Republican candidates are the ideal presidential candidate. It also doesn't take an idiot to see that the same thing can be said of the Democratic candidates. Here's the reality: There never has been a perfect president, there never has been a perfect presidential candidate, there is no perfect president, there is no perfect presidential candidate, there never will be a perfect president and there never will be a perfect presidential candidate.

"You're so selfish."

Define selfish. I want my money to be my money and I want my rights to be my rights; I was unaware that that labels me as "selfish." I am confident that I can survive without the government's help.

"But don't you care about the old people/the kids/the environment/the homeless people/etc?"

Yes, I do. What I don't like is that my hard-earned money gets taken from me and used for other things. I'm not against helping out, don't get me wrong. I would love to donate to charities to help children and homeless people and the planet, that is if I had enough money to do so. Sadly, that money gets taken from me through taxes (Which could be considered forced donation, if you ask me. How is that fair?).

"But what about the minorities? You're just racist."

No, I'm not racist and yes, I do care about the minorities. I believe diversity is one of America's greatest qualities. What bothers me, though, is that society changes the meaning of "fair" when it comes to minorities. Yeah, it would be fair for us to all be able to pay our own medical bills and whatnot. Do you know what else would be fair? For even the members of minorities to get jobs and earn their way to success just like I'm trying to do. If illegal immigrants want to come to America, then they can go through the citizenship process, get a job and contribute to society. If they want to be treated equally, they need to start viewing themselves and treating themselves as working American citizens who pay the same taxes, get the same jobs and fight the same daily battles that we fight.

"You're hateful and/or heartless."

Nah. What I am is honest, self-sufficient and confident that other people can be honest and self-sufficient.

"You're ignorant."

Again, no, I'm not. As I've said several other times throughout this article, I know what I'm talking about and I can justify what I'm talking about. If anything, you're ignorant for accusing me of such things.

"You're crazy if you'd vote Trump over Sanders or Clinton if he's the chosen GOP candidate."

Please enlighten me on how this makes me "crazy." In this upcoming election, I will be voting for the candidate chosen by my political affiliation. The Republican Party's only strong opposing candidates include a self-proclaimed Socialist and a woman under FBI investigation. What I would consider "crazy" is if I voted for Sanders or Clinton over Donald Trump, just because Trump has offended some people before. (And no, this is not me saying I'm a loud and proud Trump supporter. In fact, Cruz has my vote either until he's elected into office or until Trump is chosen as the GOP candidate.)

Side note: I've heard the people, who hate Trump for being mean, say meaner things than that man ever has. A very wise man (Jesus, in John 8:7) once said, "Let him who is without sin cast the first stone."

What you should be saying to me is "Thank you," because I'm voting for freedom. I'm voting for civil liberties. I'm voting for constitutional rights. I'm voting for the will to succeed. I'm voting for the reward for hard work. I'm voting for the things that will actually help America keep prospering.

So, here's what I'll say to you: You're welcome.

Cover Image Credit: Kristi Russell

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That One Time I May Have Shot An Ex-Police Officer

Yeah, you heard me.


In England, we don't really have guns, maybe hunting guns but I think it's pretty rare. Anyway, point is, barely any guns. I have never seen a gun, shot a gun, I don't even know anybody that owns a gun so as an exchange student in Oklahoma it's a novelty to visit a gun range.

I was pretty nervous about shooting but the instructor was super nice and told us how to hold the gun and load it before we went into the range. He also let us ask any questions we had about guns and explained the process of getting a gun in Oklahoma and he said he had visited Europe and was talking about England, and how he used to be a cop and opened his own gun shop. Basically a really really nice guy, which honestly makes harming him ten times worse.

We went into the range and we were shooting a 22 caliber and another guy at the range, I'm assuming a regular, asked if we wanted to fire his revolver so of course, we said yes.

This gun was definitely heavier and the trigger was super hard to pull but he kept his hand on the gun whilst I struggled with the trigger and then I fired it.

I heard a bang and I heard a yell.

I turned around and he was holding his thumb and there was blood dripping onto the floor. At this point, I thought I had shot him, so you can imagine the sheer level of panic that I was feeling.

The color drained from my face and I was frozen solid and all I could say was, "are you okay?" which was answered with a "Ma'am, put the gun down."

Basically, I'm freaking out and I look over at the lads for some form of reassurance, which was met with them looking equally as freaked out as me. So I asked,

"Do we need to call someone?"

"Yep. We are definitely gonna have to call someone"

So at this point, my nerves were shattered and I had no idea what was going on or what the procedure is for this sort of thing. I mean, the guy also took it like a champ and barely even winced and kept repeating "little lady, you're fine" – safe to say I did not feel fine nor did the situation, in my eyes, look at all fine.

Luckily the regulars knew what to do and took him to the ER so we were left in the store with another regular shooter.

Everyone else went back out to shoot but I didn't feel like assaulting/ shooting/ potentially murdering anyone else so I decided to sit this round out and talk to the woman that stayed with us and he called and said it wasn't me, something came off the bullet or gun and went into his hand- so no I didn't actually shoot him and he was going to be okay.

The point of this now very funny story is that whilst guns are cool they're also pretty dangerous.

I have no idea how someone can participate in these mass shootings because I didn't even shoot someone, only thought I did, and it was probably the most terrifying moment of my life.

So, if you are around guns, have fun, be safe and try not to send your instructor to the ER.

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