People have many ways of facing the experiences that happen to us on a daily basis. From an early age we learn the ways of relating with others, with ourselves and also with what is beyond, whether it is more within us or more towards the heights. This way of relating to others leaves us with a personal suit, a style with which we begin to read the code of the matrix, and among so many clues, we finally see what we have been trained to look at.
We could take a million examples and analogies, however, after a conversation yesterday, and thinking while driving to my office, the image came to me of those people who live as victims of every situation, who insist on pointing out that nothing depends on them, that it has always been the circumstances of the context that has generated the results they get. If they are doing well it is luck, if they are doing badly it is fate or others. When it is necessary to make decisions and act, they do not take charge, they do not take sides, not even for those things that should matter most to them, and they permanently seek to foist responsibility on those around them. It seems that they do not exist, because they do not generate any consequence in the results they obtain, they are simply victims. Explanations abound, excuses could be sold by the pound, but actions, decisions and self-responsibility are not part of their internal repertoire.
The interesting thing is that many times “the victim” lives in the same street as “the hero”. This character also has his problems, things are not going as he would like but he feels he has a moral duty to do things for others, even to postpone his needs in order to give a helping hand to the needy. He seeks to be compassionate and active in finding solutions, often taking charge of what does not correspond to him under his personal motto of “helping others”. His help is not growth, that is, he goes and does what the victim should have done, he does not teach him, does not push him, does not question him to take charge, but justifies him and helps him to stay as he is. Finally, if the victim did not live in the same neighborhood, the hero would not have a job, his role of “good”, “resolute” and “compassionate” would go into the background and that would damage what he thinks of himself. He would be a retired hero and these characters like to put on their capes and go out at the first call for help.
There is everything on this street, but these two get noticed. The victim is always telling his miseries, he cries loudly, he laments at every moment, he usually can’t find sustainable reasons to feel good and he makes you feel it. He is seen when he walks down the street, when he uses the dim light in his house, when he carries few things back from the market because he does not know if he will be alive tomorrow. For his part, the hero does not do badly at all, he also makes you feel his position, his superior capacity to be the one who gives and gives himself for others. Many times disguised in a suit of false modesty he walks around leaving behind some symbol of his costume, some distinctive color, perhaps a phrase that makes you notice that he knows more than others, that he is in a different place, that he has something that you don’t have and that if you ask for help in the right way he can come to your rescue.
However, there is someone who lives between the houses of both, who does not seem to exist between the stridency of these two characters. No one knows his name, so they call him “the neighbor”. He helps if he can, asks for help if he really needs it. He does his own thing, so he is always seen coming and going to fulfill his commitments, to get the results he is looking for, so that his family is well and things go as well as he can. Of course he has problems, of course he feels insecure and bewildered many times, but sitting down to be pitiful does not go with him, and to go around saving everyone seems irresponsible to him. “One can help, but everyone must take responsibility for their own” he often says when asked about the neighbors.
This character lives between the two strident ones and transmits the same restraint. He understands that life has everything, that it is good to be generous, and that it is essential to take charge. That he strives for what he wants and doesn’t blame the rest, and that he gives the best of himself even if sometimes that is not enough or things just don’t work out.
All of us have taken some of these positions in our lives, maybe we live at home to one of these three. Maybe we have been playing the role of victim, or we want to be the hero who can do all things and save all things, or maybe we are in a more centered life looking for balance in our days.
Regardless of where you are, each thing has a price and also carries some benefit. If you are not aware in time you might choose the wrong house and stay living in the place where you don’t really want to be.
Have you thought about who you want to be?