by Jay Johansen | Apr 28, 2020
If you live in America, most of your problems are your own fault.
Yes, some people are victims. If a gang of thugs breaks into your house, beats you senseless, and leaves you with brain damage for the rest of your life, you are an innocent victim and it's not your fault. Or if government officials decide to harass you because they don't like your color or your politics, yes, you're a victim. We can easily think of any number of scenarios where a person is an innocent victim.
But most of us will never be the victim of a violent crime or be arrested on trumped-up charges or otherwise be a victim in a major way.
Most of the problems people face in life are the result of their own bad decisions. You can't get a good job because you dropped out of high school and have no education. You're bankrupt because you gamble away all your money. You're in jail because you broke the law. Your marriage is in trouble because you cheated on your spouse. Etc.
Maybe your problems aren't that dramatic. Maybe it's more like, You make enough money to get by but you just can't get ahead. And besides you hate your job. You haven't gotten a divorce but your marriage isn't happy.
Of course you can always find small ways in which you are a victim. The boss promoted that other guy instead of you even though you're more qualified and worked harder, just because they're drinking buddies. The police stopped you for trivial traffic violations twice this year while your white friends never seem to get stopped. The store overcharged you $3 and refuses to give you your money back. We live in a corrupt world. There are always small injustices. But are these things really the cause of your problems, or just a convenient excuse for your failures?
There are two ways to deal with setbacks in life. One is to give up in despair and complain that life is unfair. The other is to work hard to solve your problems and make your life better.
If you really have been kidnapped and are being held as a slave, maybe escape is impossible and there's nothing you can do. But most likely, there's a lot you can do to improve your situation. Even if you are a victim of injustice, if you live in America, this may make it harder for you, but it rarely makes it impossible.
© 2020 by Jay Johansen
No comments yet.