Last week I wrote about having recently met a few people whose lives were scarred with suffering yet there was no hint of bitterness or blame. They took responsibility to live their life fully and freely. They were not victims—they were survivors.
Their courageous example is in stark contrast to the many moments when we play the victim even in the absence of real suffering. The attraction of this victim mentality is that it releases us from full responsibility for our living. It helps to convince us (or is the result of having convinced us) that we don’t have a choice, which in turn convinces us that we don’t have to do anything because there is “nothing” we can do. When we play the victim we are never wrong—everyone else is—everyone else is to blame. In fact, victims are passionate about finding out the faults of others and exposing them—it helps turn the spotlight away from our own inadequacies.
Another characteristic of this victim mentality is the great ease with which we take offence. I read the other day the following quote from a certain radio personality, “Remember you TAKE offence, nobody gives it to you”. To take offence is therefore more a reflection of our inner insecurity than any particular trait of the other.
Lord heal us from being a victim! Alan