The looting, destruction, and racial violence in Charlotte is troubling (as it is elsewhere).
It’s a sign of desperation. Happy, content people do not destroy cars and buildings or assault others (except in defense of others or self). Not even when they want to make a point or expose what they believe to be an injustice. These people are hurting.
It’s not a smart choice, but the perception of unfairness – justified or not – is an excuse for violence and destruction, borne of frustration and something to blame (police, racism, whites, America, slavery, etc.).
It frustrates me that media, politicians, and so-called “advocates” fuel this victim mentality to benefit themselves, but rather than get angry at them, I feel for the people who swallow the rhetoric that enables the victim mentality. The folks who buy into the victim narratives not only risk prison, harm, and even death by acting out their frustrations, but by choosing to compare, to obsess over fairness, to blame, and to take comfort in their woundedness – in this case, using it as an excuse or justification to give in to their base urges – they are adopting the victim mentality. That victim mentality, if not relinquished, leads to unhappiness and discontent as well as self-destructive behavior (and thought). It is a terrible way to live.
So, what can we do? I am a “fixer” in my career and in life so I want to solve the problem. But I know that the victim mentality is too pervasive and too big a problem for one man to “solve.” Nevertheless, I can share my unique experiences and perspective to hopefully contribute to a solution.
I get the sense that readers of Not A Victim are thinking, caring people who want to make positive contributions to the world. If we first recognize the victim mentality and then refuse to enable comparing, fairness obsessions, blaming, or taking comfort in woundedness, we can all play a part – big or small – in helping our fellow human beings to lead happier, more fulfilled lives.
We can all do our part.