Am I really a victim?
How we deem ourselves to be victims of random situations.
Born on a Monday,
Christened on Tuesday,
Married on Wednesday,
Took ill on Thursday,
Grew worse on Friday,
Died on Saturday,
Buried on Sunday,
That was the end,
Of Solomon Grundy” chanted an autistic kid suffering from a dysfunctional family.
I was watching “The Accountant” few weeks back, it was midnight, and I tried to go to sleep after watching but I just could not! There was an idea that dawned on me and I kept thinking about it. The idea that the protagonist and other children who are portrayed as non-neurotypicals are victims of their own differences, of the genetic raffle.
As a kid, I always used to be ignorant of the world-view lens of other people, whether they be neurotypical or not, but overtime I’ve become very empathetic of others which is why I tried imagining life from their lens.
It suddenly hit me, that this world isn’t really about me, its not working against me and it isn’t punishing me for something that I may have done. It felt like I am lucky and to your dismay I am.
Being a neurotypical in a world of neurotypicals is a blessing, because people understand you and treat you as if you are indifferent but there are countless others invisible to us that are suffering in disguise just because they are a little different?
Smart people don’t discount the luck factor, even though they don’t talk about it often in public. Many are ignorant of it, but are they really? They acknowledge the fact that there is an inherent entropy in a complex system such as our world which is precisely what luck is.
This world is full of people who think that they are not successful, and since everyone has their own definition of success - be it hitting certain goals, checking off the crazy things in their bucket list yada yada. However it is a pattern that people find someone, something or some unrelated event to blame for not meeting their expectations.
The crux of what I’m trying to convey is that life is uncertain, we as emotional beings constantly try to find stability. We choose the safe options, not because we can’t minimize risk in other options, but because we don’t really want to. We don't want to worry about the hole in the middle of the boat of our lives. So we remain scared, we blame things, and we don’t move on. We eat too much, we get fat. We make ourselves victims of situations.
Even with all this uncertainty and failure, I would deem us lucky. As Naval famously spoke on the JRE podcast, “The greatest privilege is being alive, 85% of humanity is dead. Then you are living in the first world, then you have four limbs, etc”.
We are living in the best times of human life, especially due to the advancements of technology our world has seen. A century ago, people used to write on paper, they used to wait months to get hands on a book. Now everything is literally on our fingertips.
The choice is really ours, do we want to remain victims of the past (which more or less is a result of our mistakes or luck / random events) or do we want to continue our lives without that poisonous regret. Yes we failed to meet our expectations, we became victims, we suffered the consequences of our actions and inactions. Now that we have taken this journey of suffering, do we really want to continue?