Guilt can be an invaluable feeling. It certainly does serve a purpose in everyone’s life. Whether or not this purpose will be positive or negative depends on the person, and the act.
Guilt represents a crucial bridge to someone’s past, which never would have been built had guilt not influenced the person to think back to something they regretted doing, something that made them feel guilt.
From this, guilt and regret can be good. We are forced to learn from our mistakes, which ultimately make us a better person, and shape who we are and also who we aspire to be.
I’m sure lots of great works of literature and art and music must have been composed out of guilt, remorse, regret, or longing. I’ve not delved deep into literary analysis or historic backgrounds, so I can’t really mention any specific names or titles. But I’m grateful that such works had been created, and will inevitably be created in the future, simply because art and expression are priceless.
On the other hand, guilt can oftentimes serve no valuable purpose in our lives. It can be harmful because it definitely has the capacity to mentally destroy someone. If the guilt reaches a certain intensity, you could lose sight of the big picture, your purpose in life. You veer off your life course, and thus, a perfectly good life is wasted.
Like anything, a little bit of guilt is beneficial to shape the character, but there is a fine line because “sufficient” and “too much.” Too much, and you risk an overdose. You could very well go over the edge, never to find your way back again.
Inspiration for this post comes from here.