I participate on a certain online discussion board. My premiere antagonist is a man who got trounced by a playground bully in fifth grade. He never fails to seek to re-enact that battle with me (or any of certain others), hoping for a different outcome this time. He casts his opponent by turns as the bully he wants to be or the chump he fears he was; and interacts with those projections. It has nothing to do with me. He might as well be playing with his G.I. Joe dolls.
Andy Kessler’s 07/08/13 Wall Street Journal op-ed, “Summer Jobs for the Guilty Generation,” is little different. In his quotations of others’ expressions, I hear compassion; he hears guilt. I hear gratitude; he hears guilt. I hear hope; he hears guilt. What’s up with this?
Kessler projects his own guilt feelings onto his son’s generation. That’s easier than owning them, but solves nothing.