We all do things we are ashamed of, that hurt people and that, in turn, hurt us. We all say things we don’t mean and we turn our backs on those who have assisted us, and continue to asisst us in our times of need–which are, incidentally, often our times of lashing out and meanness. But these actions and behaviours are not the true tests of our character; that comes after the fact, after we have discovered how deeply we have wounded someone, or realized our inability to be thankful and loving. When we knew what we should have done and did not do it: that is the denegration of our character. The unkind statement or the hurtful acts do harm us because they become habit and they replace the kindness and the soft shape of our life with horrid black lines and jagged, piercing edges, into which we do not wish to run, against which we do not wish to be pushed, but push others. When we are humble, we edge those lines a little closer to kindness, and we round out those sharp-edged blades that cut so mercilessly. When we succumb to our shame we can again find ourselves forgiven and once more may step back into difficult, but worthy task of being human.