We live in a time where no one wants to take responsibility for themselves. When things go wrong, it’s never our own fault. It’s always someone else’s. Fewer people are getting married because it’s too much responsibility – it’s easier to just live with someone under the illusion of marriage. Fewer people are having children. They’d rather have a “fur-baby” than an actual child because raising a human is a lot of responsibility. Sometimes they go so far as to get rid of a child because they refuse to own their choices.
Nothing is ever “our” fault. It’s “their” fault, whomever “they” might be – rich white men, capitalism, conservatives, liberals, the economy, the education system. You name it, it’s been blamed for something. I’m not pointing out any specific person, religion, political party, or any other belief – it’s everywhere you look. News media has grabbed hold of it, celebrities have grabbed hold of it, and, in turn, culture at large has, too. This kind of behavior leads to one becoming a victim of his circumstances. Never making gains to solve his own problems but asking people to solve them for him – because he deserves it, gosh darn it. Because “they” owe it to him. Because he is a victim of “them.”
Being a victim of your situation isn’t such a new thing. I haven’t lived long enough to know what it’s looked like in past generations, but I definitely know what it looks like among millennials, because I am one, and I’ve fallen into the “victim” mindset before. Millennials are crying for “safe spaces” so they don’t feel offended or attacked. Instead of engaging in healthy debate and conversation, they’re blocking traffic in “peaceful” protest or attacking one another on social media, or simply whining about something, whether it’s the state of our nation, their paycheck, or other things they feel victimized by.
If it sounds like I’m being harsh, it’s because I am. Millennials don’t like harsh. Can’t we all just get along in a world of fluffy animals and cat memes? Why get a wake-up call now when I can just retreat into my safe space and rock back and forth in a fetal position until I get what I want?
I think this is something millennials need to hear. Millennials were raised believing they are special and the world is their oyster. Many graduated into a crappy economy with a mountain of college debt, leaving many disillusioned. And yet, instead of standing up and being responsible, many are choosing to be victims. Yes, I said choosing. They think they deserve something that they’re not getting, and they take personal offense to that.
“This is all the baby boomers’ fault.”
“This is all the liberals’/conservatives’/whatevers’ fault.”
“This is all the American school systems’ fault.”
True, there are a lot of things in this world that are out of our control. We couldn’t control when the economy took a turn, or who got elected before we could vote, or the cost of higher education, but if we become victims to these circumstances, we’ll never get anywhere or change anything.
Sadly, a lot of millennials have adopted this mindset. They choose to lay down and die, or continually complain about their situation without taking strides to change it. And some even openly call themselves “victims” when they aren’t even victims at all. They still have a job, a paycheck, and a life with many freedoms and luxuries many people in the world do not have. But when their feelings get hurt, it becomes a national tragedy.
Do you know who real victims are? Corrie ten Boom, who faced unimaginable atrocities because she chose to help people in grave danger. Talk about owning your choices. Or Anne Frank, who didn’t even know she was going to become a hero to millions. Who lived in constant fear of her life but still continued to dream and live.
Do you know who real victims are? The children of Aleppo, who wonder if they’ll see their parents again, or even if they’ll see tomorrow. Syrian refugees who literally have no home and hardly a friend in the world.
Do you know who real victims are? Women and men who are fighting for their lives and their dignity every day as sex slaves. People who have been ripped from their homes and told they have literally no worth as a human being.
Puts things in perspective, doesn’t it?
Just because you graduated with debt into a bad economy, or because one person didn’t respect your customs or creeds, or catcalls you on the street, does not make you a victim of anything. Rather, it doesn’t have to. You have to own your circumstances, not let them own you. You’ll be miserable if you let that happen. At the end of the day, finger-pointing isn’t going to do anything for you.
This is my opinion, and if you disagree, congratulations. You have a mind that thinks for itself and forms its own opinion. This is me, floating my own opinion out for the sake of (hopefully) starting a (meaningful) conversation (that doesn’t involve namecalling or blaming.)
Own your decisions, own your circumstances, and you’ll own your life.