A Victim or Victor?
John and James are twins. They were brought up by the same parents, in the same home and under the same circumstances. While John is now a highly successful businessman, James is still having problems finding his feet and often times, he had had to depend on his twin brother John for financial support. James never completed secondary school because he dropped out, just after two years.
John and James’s Dad was an alcoholic who came home drunk most nights while they were growing up. In his drunken state, he would often abuse them by beating them up without any justifiable reason and this caused them to live in constant fear. They lost their mum when they were only four years of age. Basic needs were also never met as their Dad never had enough and was always in debt because of his lifestyle.
John hated his Dad’s lifestyle so much that he never wanted to be like him so he worked very hard to become who he is today. James also did not like his father’s way of life but he felt incapacitated and could do little or nothing to change his situation. He often attributes his lack of success to not having a good role model and the circumstances under which he grew up.
I am sure that most of us would have seen or heard stories similar to that of John and James. Life happens to all of us, but what we do with the happenings of life is entirely a choice that lies within our power to make. You can decide to be a victor over whatever had happened to you, or you can allow the happenings of life to break or stop you and then you become a victim to it. However, I must emphasis again that the choice to be a victor or a victim lies within your power (especially if you have a relationship with God and you know how to maximise that relationship).
A victor is someone who takes the various things that life has thrown at him to make something beautiful out it. He takes responsibility for the state of things in his life and doesn’t look for excuses to justify himself if things aren’t turning out right. He is a person who will always look for a way out, even in the most difficult circumstances. Yes, he may make mistakes along the way but he doesn’t allow them to stop him from making progress. He learns from them and moves on because he has learnt to quickly forgive, that is, forgiving himself and others who may have offended him. He is not a person who is given to self-pity, and he also hates it when people feel sorry for him. He is inspired by successful people and makes every effort to learn from them.
A victim, on the other hand, is someone who allows the things thrown at him to not only knock him down but to stay down perpetually. He is someone who likes to shy away from responsibilities and always finds a person(s) or circumstance(s) to blame for the state of his life. He is always full of excuses of why things are not working for him. He usually feels that the things happening to him are beyond his control so he is full of self-pity. When he makes mistakes, he beats himself down so much that he is unable to forgive himself so he remains stuck in his mistake. The way he finds it difficult to forgive himself is the same way he also finds it hard to forgive others, hence he remains perpetually angry and bitter. He may even resent the success of other people around him because he feels that their success is at his expense.
Ben Carson in his book, The Big Picture, said, “A victim walking through sand looks down and sees dirt, a victor sees the ingredients for building a castle.” Yes, I know that some of the reasons that people have for not succeeding are legitimate as we see in the case of James. However, with a change of attitude and with determination, he stands a chance of overcoming his limitations and succeeding just like his brother.
How would you describe yourself? Are you a victor or a victim? Remember that only you can sincerely answer this question. I know that it is sometimes difficult to admit that we are playing the victim but can I challenge you to begin to build castles with the sands and stones that life has thrown at you?