My grandfather caught me stomping on an anthill once. After he was done with me, I never did it again, not because he scared me, or because his anger overwhelmed me. In fact, all he said was, “Do you know how hard they work to build those?” The good sense driving my shame changed me.
New Age gurus tout that shame is the dead weight we carry when we can’t move past our own poor choices. It’s the stuff driving lifelong wounds, substance abuse, the will to hurt. That was one time in my life that shame transmuted to right action in about the same second as I offended. One time.
Everybody does regrettable things. One thing I’ve learned is how rare a sincere apology is. So when there is one, I’ll take it.