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Guilt not the only motivator

Letter to the Editor | Tuesday, November 4, 2008

I am compelled to respond to the opinion voiced by Bradley Duffy (“Spread the Logic”, Oct. 30). He accused Sean Lyttle of “feel[ing] guilty for everything from his upbringing to his race to his potentially successful future” based on Lyttle’s acknowledgment of a charmed life, and the less-fortunate lives of others. It is unfortunate that, in the mind of Duffy and others like him, that the only motivator can be shame. That one can’t be moved out of pity, or generosity, or love for your fellow man. By this logic, all pro-lifers act only because they feel guilty that they were born. All doctors are motivated to treat the sick, only out of guilt of their own health. Your professors teach because they feel guilty that they’re so smart. We can argue the best way to help others, and indeed we should. But Duffy’s cynical analysis of Lyttle’s motivation is an attitude unbecoming of anyone associated with Notre Dame, and I feel pity that anyone would choose to see nothing but guilt from a man who counts his blessings.

Christopher Middendorff

grad student


Nov. 3