I believe we need to put an end to the epidemic of “victimitis” that is running rampant in the world. We need to avoid or intercept and destroy the “victim” mentality that is becoming so prevalent in our society today. Many people have fallen prey to this insidious disease. And everyone from the media, to lawyers, to doctors, to social workers, to school administrators are busy telling us how we are “victims” of this and that, or that we’ve been ‘victimized’ by such and such (so that we have someone or something to ‘blame’). I’m not talking about a physical attack here -- if someone hits you from behind with a two-by-four while you’re walking down a path that is a different matter entirely. Or if someone steals your entire life savings through some investment scam. In both these cases you are indeed a victim.
Here’s a little example for you of the sort of “victimitis” I am talking about. I have a good friend who was at one time involved in law enforcement. He and the other officers he worked with had to attend a workshop on yes, that’s right, “victimization,” which was conducted by a psychologist. Every officer was given six yellow post-its, and in different locations around the room were posted different categories of victimization, such as sexual harassment, name-calling, etc. Each officer was required to put one of the post-its in whatever areas applied to them, until all six were gone. When my friend didn’t put any of his post-its up, he was confronted by the psychologist, who asked him why he hadn’t put them up. My friend’s response was that, while he may have encountered some of the situations listed, he never considered himself a victim. The psychologist’s response, was, “We’ve all been victimized in one way or another, even you.” So, in order to avoid getting into trouble for not posting anything, my friend posted a note that stated that he felt victimized by being forced to attend the workshop. Suffice it to say that the psychologist was not happy at all.
It seems to me that so many people today are being taught to claim their “victimhood” instead of being taught how to deal effectively with situations. This notion is being forced down the throats of children from the moment they start school by the school systems (i.e. – If someone calls you a name you don’t like you are suddenly a “victim”) Really? Who came up with this crap? Because someone calls you “stupid” does not mean you have to claim to be a victim. Such a situation could be dealt with very effectively without sticking the label of “victim” on the kid.
Before I go on, I want to touch briefly on the subject of “bullying” (I say briefly because it deserves an entire blog of its own). Make no mistake, I am in no way denying that bullying exists. The fact is that it does exist and has existed since the dawn of man. And while I do not consider myself a pessimist, whether we like it or not, it will most likely continue to exist.
But the questions I ask are concerning the subject of bullying are these:
1) Is bullying really such an epidemic in this country as people would have us believe, or have we simply expanded our definition of what constitutes bullying to include everything that annoys or upsets us, or that we take offense to?
2) Who defines what does and does not constitute bullying? What are their qualifications for being able to make such distinctions?
If you look up the word "bully" you will actually find that originally the word had a much different and positive meaning.
In the end, other people do not make us into a victim, we make ourselves into one by getting angry, taking offence, pointing fingers and blaming other people. And when we do that, we are not victims but rather interdependent players. You cannot claim to be working toward liberating yourself from the all the shackles that would attempt to restrict you if you are continually allowing yourself to feel like a victim or consider yourself a victim. Here's an idea, lets all make a strong effort to eradicate the victimitis that is sweeping through our world today.