Short Essay: “Victim of His Own” by Anil Shrivastava ‘Musafir’

October 19 Essay“When you victimize yourself, you rid yourself of responsibility”

The other day I got reminded of a story that I heard years ago. It goes something like this:

A man moved to a new town and asked an old neighbor, “How are the folks in this subdivision?”

The old man replied, “How were the folks where you lived before?”

The new neighbor replied, “They were kind, friendly and compassionate.”

“You’ll find similar people in this subdivision also,” replied the old neighbor.

After a few years another person moved to the same neighborhood and asked the same old neighbor, “How are the folks in this subdivision?”

The old man asked, “How were the folks where you lived before?”

The new neighbor replied, “They were cruel, selfish and unkind.”

“You’ll find similar people in this subdivision also,” replied the old neighbor.

The moral of the story is that we are the makers of our own world and today if the world is an ugly and nasty place, it’s because that’s what we are.

Hardly a day goes by that we don’t complain, criticize, blame, gossip or compare ourselves to other people. Many of us live with a victim mentality which comes from the idea that we are not responsible for our actions and circumstances. Today, thanks to the internet and social media, this disease has taken the proportion of a pandemic. The so called victims portray themselves as unfortunates who demand to be rescued. My typical question to them is, “So what are you doing about this?”

The fact remains that most of us are not fighting to survive genocide, poverty, or daily street violence from an insurgent militia. We just have the gift of time to surmount negative emotions.

The Japanese are ingenious and hardworking folks. They rebuilt their country into an economic powerhouse after they were ruined in World War II. On the contrary, many countries in the Middle East are in a pitiable condition because they cannot rise above the victim mentality.

As a society, we are so quick to assign blame and pull out all the excuses as to why something did or did not happen. All the “He made me, she made me….” finger pointing are signs of victim mentality. Stephen Covey writes in his famous book, “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, “Dependent people need others to get what they want. Independent people can get what they want through their own effort.”

Independent people work on things that can change their situation using positive energy whereas dependent people focus on concerns only without doing anything about it. They spend their time in blaming and accusing others with increased feeling of victimization.

It does us no good to shield ourselves from our own inertness and inability. Unfortunately, it is convenient to be lazy and blame others for our own plight. There are reasons why people do that. That way they avoid responsibility. They like it when others feel sorry for them and society feels compelled to help in getting what they want.

In fact, the world owes us nothing, so the folks with victim mentality should stop crying about entitlement and get out there and work for getting what they want. This will give them a push and will show them the reality of existence.

“You saw what was coming,

You could have resisted everything,

It was our time to get up,

And that was our day to win,

You are victims of your own.” –Rotten Sound

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