Victims & Victimhood

 

The world is full of victims

We're all victims of something

This is true

We love to revel in this status and shout it out to the world.

 

For instance, the Tibetans are victims of the Chinese

Who along with the Koreans were victims of the Japanese

Who were the first victims of the nuclear era.

 

The Palestinians are victims of the Israelis

Who were victims of the Europeans

Who were the worst victims of both world wars.

 

The Turks are victims of an apathetic European Union

While the Armenians were victims of the Turks and the Kurds

Some Azerbaijanis will say they are victims of the Armenians

And back to the Kurds, well they were victims of Saddam

Who was a victim of the Americans along with Latin America, Muslims in the Middle East and most people I talk to in other countries now.

And America as a whole is a victim of the world's envy and four hijacked planes

 

In America, the African Americans were victims of slavery and Jim Crow

The gays victims of society and the Right

The Churchgoers victims of Hollywood and the Left

The Mexicans victims of the newest prejudice

Jews victims of the oldest prejudice

Native Americans victims of the White pioneers

The White woman was a victim of the White Man

Who in turn is now a victim of political correctness and affirmative action.

 

Sorry to those peoples who I left out, but you were victims of my biases and my editing.

 

We live in a world full of victims, but with few who would call themselves "oppressors"

But if everyone's a victim and no one an oppressor how can there ever be any justice?

 

It is difficult and after so many different perspectives and so many different histories, I have to admit:

I'm tired of everyone wearing their suffering as a badge for all to see

The truth is that: we ARE all victims, but many of us have become consumed by this thing called VICTIMHOOD.

 

We often use this badge to justify all of our actions, even if they hurt others

We get stuck in this past, and dwell again and again on all the bad

In our histories, in our people's histories

We villainize others, while making ourselves saints

Yes, it is important to remember our suffering; sometimes we are reminded of it every day

But it is essential to make peace with that suffering and move on, isn't that what Gandhi and Mandela did?

 

Though you may have been oppressed, you are the one who controls your own destiny

We can change things for the better by working with the things we can influence

If they cannot be big changes, they can be small

The oppressors cannot touch everything

Can you not change the appearance of a pond by skipping a stone across it?

 

I would love to make big changes

I would love to be president and try to change how the world is

But I can't, I'm not yet 35

The young, another group of victims.

 

So here I am writing this, skipping other stones across a pond.

 

Some people may be more justified in their victim status than others; this is most definitely true

And it is important to remember our injustices; if we forget them we may become weaker

Sometimes, we must respond with force to these injustices

BUT we must take caution here

If you seek to place this victimhood upon someone else for a long period of time, you will have changed nothing.

 

We have to look at ourselves and say what can I change with ME?  With MY people?  With MY country?

We have to live life more as active doers with our dreams, hopes and ambitions guiding us.

We have to move forward as a people using our talents while doing our best not to turn others we may pass into victims along the way.

 

Let now be the time that we can make peace with the past

And move forward like brothers and sisters of this very beat up world

If change is what we want, then let us seek change by discovering the best within ourselves

When we do, we may have truly awakened from this hibernation

Perhaps then we will truly have evolved further as a species and can revel it that accomplishment and shout that out to the world.

 

As for me, I just pray that this perspective I have doesn't get shaken easily.

I hope the next time I am wronged, (there will be a next time)

And if I survive that wrong and see the door of victimhood opening right in front of me,

I hope I do not enter it. 

Or if I do succumb to it and enter, I hope it is only for an appetizer. 

We ARE all victims, but we must drain from the world this poison called victimhood.

We cannot close that door behind us or overstay our visit.

 

Steve Chernoski

July 2006