To embarrass is to create one to feel awkward, self conscious, or ashamed. And during our lives we've probably embarrassed ourselves or others from time to time. I suspect that most times we've caused or felt embarrassment have been events or occurrences we didn't plan on.

I remember way back when one of my young sons did something while visiting a relative. It wasn't planned, and there was no malice involved, but it was very embarrassing. I remember another time when a realtor was showing my husband and I a home, and I made an embarrassing comment. I didn't plan the retort, but once said, everyone was embarrassed. When I think about embarrassment, I also think of public officials who have created embarrassment for their families, themselves, and those they serve.

For the most part, I'd say that I rarely become embarrassed. I don't like that emotion, and typically avoid the kinds of acts that create that feeling. But as a member of a large, extended family and big community, it's not unusual to experience embarrassing events now and then. If the act or event is of concern, it's best to get underneath it, to talk about it, make amends, and work to hopefully never let it happen again. If it's small and random, the best course of action to accept the embarrassing event with a sense of humor--things like that will happen.

Like a modern day freak show, the press often embarrasses people, especially TV and movie personalities when they're caught doing something outside the norm. This is one aspect of the media I don't like because it perpetrates bad attitudes towards people and an acceptance of creating and making fun of embarrassing situations.

Embarrassment will happen to all of us from one time to another. It's one of those emotions that help us to keep a sense of right or wrong as well as public/private responsibility. It's not a feeling I seek, but when it happens it's best to own it, right any wrongs or laugh it off if it's small and inconsequential, and move on.


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