Are we helping?
I recently had an interesting conversation with a gentlemen who was receiving financial aid from the government. Throughout our conversation, he was blaming everyone for his lot in life. His boss did not like him and will not promote him, his company was biased against minorities, and the government did not give him enough financial aid to live a comfortable life so he still had to work.
What struck me was his “victim mentality.”
While it is true that circumstances do shape the options that we have in life, I however firmly believe that we are exactly where we are because of the decisions we made and the actions we took. Thus, while it is reassuring to blame others for our position in life — as it helps maintain our self-concept of who we think we are — the hard truth is that we are more to blame.
Think about it …. when you succeeded, it was through your own abilities. But when you failed, it was because someone or something else stood in your way. In both situations, your boss, the organization, society, and the government were the same. So who is really to blame?
To me, the great danger in having a victim mentality and blaming others is that you take power away from your ability to change your circumstance. Only by accepting that you are personally responsible will you then take the actions to change your life.
I sometimes wonder if in our desire to help, are we instead guilty of perpetuating the victim mentality and keeping them dependent on others ….