Tim Timmons | Crawfordsville, IN

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May 6, 2021

Why do people choose to be victims?

By now you know the drill. It's Saturday morning. The office is closed, doors locked. The place is dark. And quiet. It's my favorite time of the week because I tend to get a lot done.
That was exactly the scenario and I was deep in paperwork when-
There are specific moments in life when things become crystal clear. It was in that moment that I was certain I was in the beginning stages of a massive heart attack. My vision clouded. I lost my breath. My chest pounded. I was afraid to check my pants.
He was giggling. Actually giggling. John the incredible hulk Hammer giggling?
"You need to learn how to relax, Timmons," he said. "You remind me of that cartoon cat that ended up on the ceiling when the dog came up behind him and barked."
"Yeah, well, I'm glad I can give you some entertainment," I grumbled as I let go of the ceiling . . . but Hammer wasn't giggling anymore. Not even smiling.
"When did everyone decide it's a good idea to be a victim?"
Had to admit, I didn't see that one coming.
"I get that being a victim alleviates us of the responsibility of carrying on," Hammer said. "I get that it's easy to sit back and say, well, it's not my fault. So and so did this or did that to me. I get that it's easy,"
He stopped.
I waited . . . without a clue of where this was going.
"Timmons, there used to be a time when it didn't matter if something happened, you found an answer. What happened to the phrase, 'come hell or high water?' Shoot, some people won't even know what that means. Seems to me that people decide they are victims so that they don't have the responsibility of finding answers. It's just too easy to say that the company messed me over or the government screwed up my insurance - yeah, OK, that might be a bad example - but you know what I'm saying Timmons? Something goes wrong and instead of looking at it for what it is, people use it as an excuse."
"I see where you're coming from John," I said. "But the thing is sometimes bad things happen to good people. Sometimes, they really are a victim despite trying not to be."
"When did life become a guarantee?" Hammer snapped. "Don't strain yourself too much on that one, Timmons, because it didn't. It never has. Things happen. Tires go flat. Bosses are jerks. Things aren't fair. And how people deal with that defines them - for better or worse - it defines their path forward in life. If they choose to throw up their hands and lower their head when things go south then whether they mean to or not they accept being a victim. If they get ticked off, more determined and take on whatever crap is thrown their way and still come up swinging, then that's a whole different story. Timmons, it's easy being a victim. It's hard deciding not to be."
I had to admit, he had a point.
"If we become a nation of victims, then we better watch out because we got to where we are today by choosing not to be victims," he said, then added, "you want to see people who aren't victims? There are kids out there with medical issues that would break your heart. They fight because they choose to. There are single moms working two jobs and fighting like hell to give their kids a better life. There are families down on their luck but not about to quit. And yet I see folks every day who are perfectly capable, but who find it easy to justify why something is too hard or not fair or whatever. Maybe there's always been folks like that, but there surely haven't been as many."
He didn't wait for an answer. He never does. He doesn't need to.

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