Citizen Tom has a smart post up called I am a Victim where he challenges our thinking by flipping the narrative on who we normally think of as one. That got me thinking a bit about the word victim.
I was a negative person for much of my younger years. Bitterness about this or that disadvantage distorted my way of thinking, leading to a victimhood mentality where perceived enemies or circumstances were always preventing me from doing or getting what I wanted. It wasn’t until I decided to drop being bitter for better that I began to actively seek change, which opened the door to self examination and new ways of thinking about things.
This was extremely humbling but also extraordinarily freeing, as I discovered how much power I had simply by controlling my thoughts and reactions to situations. I also began to see how enslaved I was to other people’s opinions and how much in need I was for someone or something to validate me. I wasn’t completely free of this and am still not in some ways, but just being aware of my issues was a huge paradigm shift for me and has helped immensely.
It also left an opening for God to work his way in to my heart, where I began to discover my true identity and worth through Him. That was the beginning of the end of my petty little world of grievance. Good riddance.
This is why, in the past anyway, this blog has focused a lot on victimhood mentality and the corrosive effects it has on a person’s thought process. I’m not talking about suffering from depression or going through a rough patch, but when feelings of unfairness and being wronged are so internalized and absolute, that this becomes the kaleidoscope you view life through.
Not only are you building your own internal prison, one toxic thought layered upon another, you’re also morphing in to reality the very type of miserable life you’re trying to escape. Pride blocks the exits and a refusal to look within for answers seals them shut, creating a vicious and exhausting circle of blame, anger and denial.
Our society is steeped in victimhood mentality right now. My concerns in the past have mainly focused on political groups manipulating young women in to believing they will never truly get ahead in life because America is inherently sexist. As I wrote here”
“These movement leaders don’t give a whit about women really, only that their natural insecurities get exploited enough for them to believe the lie that a systemically sexist and controlling patriarchy is continually holding them back. Ironically that type of thinking really will keep someone from getting ahead, as it prevents self reflection and course correction. When blaming others becomes the default response to life’s inevitable hardships, it becomes extremely difficult to make needed changes for growth.”
The black community of course has been targeted with these political grifters for eons, probably for longer and worse than with women and with more tragic results. And just as my belief about sexism not being an internalized system in this country, I don’t believe black people suffer under systemic racism in today’s America.
Sexism and racism do exist of course and women and people of color face unique and sometimes brutal challenges from them, but in my opinion this comes from individual encounters with individual people. While unfortunate, these bad players don’t define an entire gender or race. Isn’t that what we’re trying to get away from anyway? Not attributing negative characteristics to people based on sex or skin color?
I’ll end with words from a previous post called Personal Freedom is a Choice.
“Since the beginning, man has always tried to control one another. Some use physical force, some the power of government and others words that bring shame and fear. The most devastatingly effective ones manipulate people in to imprisoning themselves by convincing them they are not worthy of living in freedom; that they were born a victim and will always be one. The “victim” then misses completely the awesome gift of life they have and their ability to forge and shape it as they please.”
It’s easy to forget the freedoms we have in America today. We can pretty much do or say what we want but there are those that would have us forget this. They want us to believe we are being held back by some societal oppressor; an “ism” that forever prevents us from reaching our full potential. With this view, everyone and everything becomes an oppressor, something to be offended by and fight against.
This is the worst type of bondage because it causes individuals to lose their ability to honestly look themselves and change where needed. Ironically this only creates more victims while reducing liberty for all of us, as the government happily steps in as savior and increases its fat footprint over our lives.
Freedom is like the air that surrounds us; lifesaving but not noticeable until it’s taken away. Pay attention America, before it’s too late.”