Religion & Beliefs
Stop Hitting Yourself Why Are You Hitting Yourself?: Incentives Behind Atonement
We’re gonna go to shul and bang on our chests to repent. How do other people do it? Read More
As the foliage withers to dead orange, so too must your delusions annually dissipate. The anachronistic Jewish spring cleaning of high holy days is a tradition that allows participants to reevaluate decisions that made doves cry. Repentance requires self-awareness, sacrifice, and the resolve to act differently. Whether you spited another person, yourself, or your spiritual compass, admitting wrong humbles, cleanses, and allows you to bypass a future as a lone schmuck that even you can’t look at.
But what’s the point? What are the incentives to go the distance and convince yourself, your people, and the lord that you will no longer do what thou should not have?
You’re sorry because you ruined everything.
- Cruise’s eyes in Legend really resemble the fear-stricken ones from Blair Witch: it’s the realization that the apocalypse is near, and you ruined everything. The only person who could empathize with the kind of fuckup that enables the Lord of Darkness to a thrown of power is probably Steve Bartman.
You’re sorry because you don’t want to go to hell.
Damnation isn’t necessarily a leading driver for atonement among the Jews, unless you count your mother’s threats. Choosing to improve out of fear of the alternative is part of a logical survival instinct: I don’t want to be alone, I don’t want to get caught, I don’t want to die, I don’t want eternal fire and everlasting pain.
Repent! For the anger of the lord is on the nations. Shoulda read his pamphlet the first time around).
Kinky guilt-ridden folks can turn to the Christians for a fun alternative to fasting. Since their literature conveys the belief that no amount of atoning will ever do the work to clear your tablet, that it is up to someone holier than thou, the idea is to put yourself in the place of passion that another famous Jew was in. You know, roleplay. Just keep saying you’re sorry.
You’re sorry because you’re screwed.
Similar to running from threats of damnation, repenting because the only choice you have is even more severe self-sacrifice is a funny way to go about self-improvement, but hey whatever works.
You’re sorry because you want sex.
Inscription in the Book of Life isn’t for everybody. If that is not priority, then something else is–and chances are, it’s sex.
Through honesty, self-judgment, and an argument for salvation, repentance can result in more mutually satisfactory tail, providing future opportunities to improve within the relationship.
Take a tip from the professor: leaving a comfort zone wakes you out of your sinning stupor, and is usually persuasive enough an effort to convince whoever you are apologizing to/ trying to bang.
Not sure what prompted it, but embodying this look of guilt, humiliation, and regret that you should aim for in any strategy that you implement.
You’re sorry someone else is an asshole.
Not actually taking any responsibility for wrongdoing, but doing the world’s karma a favor in repenting for someone who’s acting a bigger fool than you. “I’m sorry, I’m sorry, but you are a fucking motherfucking asshole” is really great direct communication, but the narcissistic nature of this kind of apology doesn’t really feature enough neurosis for the occasion either.
This approach doesn’t do much in the way of atonement, and probably makes for something you’ll have to apologize for later.
Bad habits fill important niches, and it’s up to you to fill them with better things, whatever that means to you.
In the end, it’s what matters to you most that is going to convince you to change your ways. On Yom Kippur we are all Thurgood Jenkins, tossing a final joint over that bridge in turn for the sweetest things in life. No matter what the persuasion, a pious person and a debaucherous one can both look around and fill in their own Halfbaked blank: “l love ______, okay ? l love it. But not as much as l love _________.”