Wednesday, December 28, 2005

"They Don't Understand"

I heard this at work yesterday. It is just about the quinessential victim's cry. The slightly scary part is that it came from somebody who out ranks me. Well, I havn't been there long so just about everybody out ranks me, but he does in title as well as tenure. But it was after hearing this from him that I considered applying Johnston's Law: The weak are opportunities for empowerment to victims. But I'm still not sure about it.

Victims seem to be a different class of weak. Not the product of circumstances beyond their control but in a prison of their own making. Most people just have to learn to make better choices, but victims only have to stop seeing themselves as a victim and take responsibility for where they find themselves. But since they are being held back by a mental block perhaps they are even easier to empower than the others.

I suppose it is possible to utter this phrase without the victim's subtext, "My life would be so much easier if they did," but I don't believe I've heard it. In fact, I might be very impressed if I ever did. Well, it would depend on the replacement subtext. If it was "They don't understand," read: 'So I have to kill them all,' I might be slightly less impressed. But if it was "They don't understand," read: 'So what can I do about it,' it just might get my attention.


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