To Be Or Not To Be…A Victim

25 Jan

Someone on MySpace today was kavetching about pagan friends taking advantage of friendships, ripping them off, lying, not reciprocating in gift-giving, being dishonest in business, and generally not being better than they should.

First, pagans in general are no better than any other group of humans.  I’ve had this pointed out to me by many a stalwart Christian in the belief this is something I claim, but I agree with my Christian declaimers and will do them one better:  No single group of humans is morally, ethically, fiscally, genetically, politically, racially, or any other “ally” superior to any other.  Some individuals may stand out at either end of the spectrum, but they don’t represent the group as a whole, or at least we shouldn’t let them.  Jesus is an excellent example of one far end of the Christian spectrum, while Ted Bundy brilliantly represents the opposite far end.  I suspect few Christians identify themselves closely with either; somewhere in the middle, maybe, not too perfect, but not too imperfect.  Pagans are the same, dear readers; not too perfect or imperfect, somewhere in the middle.

Second, how does one deal with these ordinary, human problems and issues?  Well, here’s how I deal with them:

Choice (1): Stop acting like a victim.

This is a really hard one for people to swallow.  No one likes to admit they are part of the problem, especially when the word “victim” is involved, but we all do this to some extent.  However, users can’t use you without your consent and if you continually find yourself victimized, you need to break the pattern and the only part of the pattern you have control over are your ACTIONS.

Choice (2): Stop feeling like a victim.

This is my “rose-colored glasses” approach to these issues.  It’s all about perception and how you chose to react to or look at any given situation; it’s a conscious decision to not feel victimized.  I can almost always rationalize (to my own satisfaction and, let’s face it, nobody else’s satisfaction is at stake here) a way for any situation to be to my benefit when I exercise control over my FEELINGS.

Let’s apply these choices to some examples.

In the first example, someone has stolen your TV.  You can be angry and mad that your TV was stolen; you are the victim of a crime, ferchrisakes!  Or…you can decide it was time to buy a new TV, you were watching to much TV anyway, or the person who stole it must really be going through some desperate times and you perform a ritual to help them find a better way.  Either way, your TV is gone, but if you exercise Choice (2), you are going to FEEL a whole lot better about the situation.  This doesn’t mean you don’t report the theft or don’t prosecute the thief if you can catch them; it simply means you chose to be a survivor who benefits from the situation rather than a victim who doesn’t.

Let’s look at the difference between being a survivor and a victim by looking at their definitions:

Victim:  An aggrieved or disadvantaged party in a crime (e.g. swindle); a person who suffers any other injury, loss, or damage as a result of a voluntary undertaking; an unfortunate person who suffers from a disaster or other adverse circumstance; anyone who is physically harmed by another; a character who is conquered or manipulated by a villain; a living creature which is slain and offered as human or animal sacrifice.

Survivor:  One who endures through disaster or hardship; one who lives through affliction; one who survives in spite of adversity; one who outlives another.

The definition for “victim” is filled with negative imagery, while the definition for “survivor” is filled with positive.  I think the choice is easy.

In the second example, you rent one of your properties to a friend who disappears owing you six months of rent.  You can’t believe they did this to you!  You’ve known them for years and you thought you were the best of friends; you trusted them and bent over backwards to help them at every chance.  You think there are no honest people left in the world and everyone is just out to cheat you.  Or…you can take ACTION.  Business is business and stealing is stealing.  Get signed rental agreements and your rent money up front, no matter if you’re dealing with pagans, friends or aliens from Jupiter.  Ignore Choice (1) at your own peril.

Third, I have to say something about lying.  “Calling people out” about lying and branding them with a letter “L” seems to be the rage these days.  Didn’t this fade away with the Puritans?  Apparently not, and it irritates the hell out of me. Lest there be any confusion on the matter, I’m NOT suggesting that we condone or accept lying; lying is definitely an unacceptable behavior.

However, I am NOT my “brother’s [or sister’s] keeper,” and neither is anybody else.  Everyone has some feelings of insecurity, and insecurity (IMO), not money, is the “root of all evil.”  Most lies stem from this insecurity and most lies are harmless to the hearer.   The harm to the speaker is unknowable, but that is neither my problem nor yours; it simply is not our responsibility, duty or right to “call them out” on the majority of their lies.

So, please, just let it rest; leave them to their delusions, and if their delusions are legion, look for someone with less, for I defy anyone to find someone who has none:  No insecurities, no delusions, and never lies.

In the greater scheme of things, does it really matter whether or not someone is really related to “the witches of Salem?”  Of course not!  But what if they’re using the claim in advertising?  Well, if someone believes it and is giving them money based solely on such a claim, IMO they deserve to be taken, but “calling them out” in this situation isn’t the solution.  Reporting them to the proper authorities for false advertising is the proper action.  In fact, that’s an excellent yard stick for testing the “seriousness” of a lie. If you’re going to “out” someone for lying, do it BIG and do it for SOMETHING BIG.  If you can’t do both, just let it ride; mind your own insecurities and let everyone else mind theirs.

Learn to let the small, petty stuff roll off your back and concentrate on not being a source of small, petty stuff yourself.

Remember, we’re all just fallible human beings trying to get through life without screwing it up too badly.  Faerie best of luck to us all!

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6 Responses to “To Be Or Not To Be…A Victim”

  1. Cheryl January 26, 2009 at 2:23 PM #

    Great blog Kat. My experiences with my wiccan friends have been nothing but wonderful. I have not met one that has not been nice and respectful. Just thought I would share this with you. xoxo

  2. Starra ~ Rogue Faery Queen January 27, 2009 at 5:47 PM #

    I long ago chose to be a Survivor and I agree with what you have written here.

    Faerie Kat I so appreciate having you as a friend and a wise womyn I can & do admire and hope to become more like as I grow as a womyn & a wytch.

    I have had dealings with folks of various beliefs and paths and the “ally’s” as you aptly put it…folks are just folks.
    Some are in the middle, some are very good and some are well not-so-good. But I choose to get over it & anything that happened with them.

    I honestly wish them well, whilst not dipping into any of the “deep dank drama waters”.

    Blessings Be,
    Starra

    • Faerie♥Kat January 27, 2009 at 7:52 PM #

      Hi Starra

      People like ourselves, especially, don’t have enough energy (much less
      spare energy) to waste getting our knickers all in a wad about people over
      whom we have no control (which is everybody in the world except
      ourselves!). Well, maybe you can exercise some control over your children,
      but that doesn’t last very long and some parents never achieve it at all.
      You have such a healthy and vibrant outlook and attitude towards your life,
      your health, your family, your spirituality, and your goals, I’m honored to
      be able to name you among my witchy womyn friends.

      Mwah!

      Kat

  3. Maddwitch January 28, 2009 at 11:13 AM #

    Yep human that’s me!! I refuse to be labelled packaged put in a box or stuck down. Love you, Maddy xx

  4. Marvin the Martian February 3, 2009 at 3:48 PM #

    Yes, Christians are often worse than pagans, in my experience. Maybe it only seems worse because they’re being openly hypocritical by violating their own dogmatic beliefs.

    And yes, people can only be victimized if they let themselves be.

    “Fight crime. Shoot back.” 😉

    Or, “Do unto others, but do it to them first.”

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