Victimhood’s Mortal Enemy

Posted on February 23, 2019 by Robert Ringer


In an age where victimhood has become entrenched as America’s state religion, it’s refreshing to occasionally meet someone who is determined to overcome their obstacles and find a way to make life work on their terms.

I was recently reminded of this when I had a chance encounter with a remarkable, upbeat young woman at a high school where my son was playing in a basketball tournament.  After his game, he and I happened to pass the open door to her office and saw that she was watching a college game on television.  We asked if she would mind if we joined her, and she acquiesced.

Once seated in her office, we struck up a conversation with her that proved to be unexpectedly inspiring.  She explained that she coached the girls’ basketball team at the school, then went on to say, “I get so mad at the girls when they don’t follow my instructions, it drives me crazy.”

She continued with, “So I get out on the floor with them and try to show them how I want them to move.  But it gets frustrating sometimes, because I have to drag this darn thing around with me,” whereupon she pulled up her right pant leg slightly and slapped a titanium prosthetic.

Whoa!  No matter how many times I see this kind of thing, it’s always a reality check.  I asked her how she lost her leg, and she explained that it happened in a freak accident in California about five years ago.

I didn’t quite catch all the details, but the bottom line was that she was standing in the wrong place at the wrong time when a huge truck started rolling down a hill.  She got caught between that truck and another one behind her, and the next thing she knew she was, as she described it, “rolling end over end downhill.”

When she got to the bottom of the hill, she thought she had escaped a near-fatal accident by the skin of her teeth, because she didn’t feel any pain.  But when she checked herself out, she found that her right leg was missing.  She later discovered that her leg was still lodged between the two trucks at the top of the hill.

Victim?  You certainly wouldn’t know it to hear her talk.  Today she displays a remarkably enthusiastic, high-energy attitude and clearly has a zest for life.  As she put it, “Hey, sh__ happens in life.  When I wake up every morning, the first thing I think of is how lucky I am to be alive.”

We all hear and see these kinds of stories every day, which is to our benefit because we need to continually be reminded of how lucky we are.  With few exceptions, no matter how heavy our burdens, we can always find people who have much heavier crosses to bear.

Socrates summed it up well when he said, “If all our misfortunes were laid in one common heap whence everyone must take an equal portion, most people would be contented to take their own.”

To keep all this in proper perspective, it’s good to remember that a handicap is simply anything that makes achievement more difficult.  Which means that everyone has handicaps, physical or otherwise.  An obese person has a handicap; a person with a low IQ has a handicap; a person who comes from a poverty-stricken home has a handicap.

In other words, not only are many people born with physical handicaps, but other kinds of handicaps can come into someone’s life in the form of an inherited environment.  An example of such an inherited handicap would be an abusive parent.

Regardless, any handicap, by definition, makes life more difficult, but just because something is difficult doesn’t mean it’s impossible.  Put another way, the challenge is to succeed in spite of one’s handicaps, and the empirical evidence makes it clear that that’s something that is definitely possible.

No question about it, victimhood has a serpent-like allure to it, but its mortal enemy, self-responsibility, is so much more fulfilling.  Getting this point across to those who are trapped in a victimhood existence will be a major factor in determining the outcome of the 2020 elections.  This is one point Republicans cannot afford to cede to the Dirty Dems.

Robert Ringer

Robert Ringer is an American icon whose unique insights into life have helped millions of readers worldwide. He is also the author of two New York Times #1 bestselling books, both of which have been listed by The New York Times among the 15 best-selling motivational books of all time.

28 responses to “Victimhood’s Mortal Enemy”

  1. Rick G says:

    And it is imperative that Trump and the Republicans win again this time around!

  2. Rick G says:

    One thing I have found in life is that no matter how bad I think I have it, there is always someone out there who has it worse than me. When get to feeling bad for poor pitiful me, I do a mental comparison and choice making. I always ask myself, "Which would you rather be, you or him/her?" I always choose me. So maybe it is not so bad after all.

  3. Jerry HIckman says:

    You mentioned growing up in poverty is a handicap. If you look at history growing up in poverty was normal before the industrial revolution.

    I also want to point out that growing up with wealth is often a handicap too. People in honest poverty (not welfare deadbeats) learn to be frugal and to work for a better life. We have seen many kids from wealthy families with a "everything is free and easy" mentality. They move on to socialist ideas thinking the government should be everyone's rich daddy.

  4. JIMBO says:

    I saved this article after passing it on to family and friends for future reference. I think we all need a reminder that bad things do happen to good people, including us'n.

  5. FedUp says:

    How to drive a stake through the heart of the blood sucking Dirty Dem vampires. Accept responsibility.

  6. Ivan desforges says:

    The worst scenario of victimization are young minorities who dwell on inequalities from the past that they were not even a part of. The past is the past and shouldn't affect them since they weren't even born yet. For me, going the extra mile will outshine any kind of victimization or competition. To prevail over the dirty Dems is to outsmart them logically, intellectually, psychologically and with great speed by being two steps ahead of them.

    • Jean says:

      While I agree with your sentiments, I have to take some issue with your last statement, "To prevail over the dirty Dems is to outsmart them logically, intellectually, psychologically…." The Dems use the one tool that is essentially unstoppable – raw emotion. Their "carrot and stick" approach usually goes like this: "We want to do XXX because it's good for (fill in the blank – the children, women, gays, the earth….)" If anyone questions the validity of the statement or asks for details, the bullying begins: "That's racist / sexist / homophobic to ask. You're a 'science denier' if you don't believe what we say (without actual evidence)" blah blah blah. Intellect isn't anywhere near anything purported to be "good for us" by a leftist.

      As long as humanity feels that greed and envy are part of the human condition and not emotions that need to be pushed aside, the Dems will have all the tools they need to push their very old ideas about social justice, inequality and wealth redistribution. It's much easier for a person to believe that their situation is someone else's fault than it is to look in the mirror and ask "What could I have done differently?" And every low income earner believes that they "should" be paid more, because just look at what other people earn. They never ask themselves what they could do to increase their market value or to serve more people.

      • lee says:

        The way to serve more people.Is to do unto others as you would have them do unto you.The way you want to be treated, you treat others

  7. whodat says:

    This is excellent.

  8. Richard Lee Van Der says:

    "It could be worse" is the thought that got me through my 80 Plus years! AND, POTENTIALS ARE TO BE REALIZED, TO BE ACTUALIZED.

  9. Jay says:

    Ban the marshmallow welfare and use the money for medical emergencies.

  10. Gary Waltrip says:

    I remember a chapter from one of Robert’s books about the “Big Picture” that dealt with comparative adversities and described rag pickers in an Indian garbage dump and what they had to endure to survive. So if you lose your job or your lover dumps you, keep it all in perspective. Someone else is worse off. I’d love to read that chapter again.

  11. FedUp says:

    When Dems sell their “victim” story successfully, they win. If not, they don’t. According to Dem/socialist theology, you are a victim if you are: of color, female, gay, poor, or a member of the “ shrinking middle class”. If you are a white/male and are sufficiently educated (by their standards) you can prove your worth by supporting their “quest for equality and justice” , otherwise, you are in the “basket of deplorables”, and are a Racist. They target victim groups with pity, whites and non-believers with guilt. I find the Racist label as offensive as the N word. The blatantly biased so called journalists of CNN, etc. who bandy the R word about should be publicly shamed and fired for continuous smears against others. They like to control other’s speech. They should stop using the slander tool before criticizing others. Same for dishonest politicians.

  12. larajf says:

    I was out with my 20 year old daughter and she was mentioning how she didn't like the song Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer. And I said "Well, it was funny at the time…."The conversation progressed to being offended by something and when I was growing up, if you were offended, well, you just moved on to some things that were less offensive. You voted with your wallet. You said things directly.
    So then she asked me when it changed. I said I blamed the current crop of parents who raised their kids to think that everything they did was perfect and got participation trophies and if there were problems it was the teachers fault, not the little darlings.
    But, bless her critical thinking heart, she pointed out that sometimes teachers are wrong too.
    So I'm at a loss how we got to the spot that we're in…where we think if we say we're offended, the other people should do something about it rather then realize that our offense ends at our nose. That we can choose to change the channel.
    Maybe we should start saying "who cares" when someone says they're offended? I don't know. Some things have gotten better, and lots has gotten worse. The baby has gone out with the bathwater. One friend got very offended by Asian jokes and then the next day told a blond joke. I didn't point it out….but I think everything should be open for poking fun at. I don't think anything should be sacred when it comes to a joke. The more we talk about things, the less it festers and causes problems.

    • Scott theczech says:

      It is possible to be a victim (think of the example RJR wrote of in this article) but victimhood, or remaining trapped in perpetual victim stasis, is quite another. As you point out so well, being offended happens all the time, but to remain chronically offended sure gives the offender a lot of power. Let’s not give others that much influence over our pursuit of happiness, right.?

  13. Paul Herring says:

    Thanks for your post, Robert. It's refreshing to remind ourselves that there are other things in life besides politics.

    Your story of the young woman with the prosthetic leg is an outstanding example of how unquenchable the human spirit is. You were reminded of this when you met that remarkable young woman. It is an inspiring story.

    In turn, I am reminded of a man here in Australia who testified at a commission we had into institutionalised child abuse a couple of years ago. The man, now in his later life perhaps late 50s, was in an orphanage from about age seven. He was repeatedly ill-treated by so-called Christian carers. On one occasion, because of some childish misdemeanour when he was eight, one of these “brothers” dangled him over a deep well by his ankles threatening him with being thrown down in it if he did the same again. He was acutely terrified. There was much, much more.

    However, in adult life he went to university and qualified as a solicitor (attorney in the US). The story was reported in the news and at the time he was earning $300,000 a year in his legal firm.

    Truly astonishing and a testament to the near-irresistibility of the human spirit! This again brings me to realise what a beautifully-crafted job our Creator performed when he made us! You’ll find this in the Bible at Psalm 139:14. The Christian Standard Bible translates it this way: “I will praise you because I have been remarkably and wondrously made. Your works are wondrous and I know this very well.”

    • lee says:

      And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. Matthew 19:24 King James Version.

  14. Stefani Woodams says:

    So, the question is, how do we connect with people who prefer to think of themselves as victims? Being a victim is much less work than taking full responsibility for one's life. I have never found a cure for "lazy". Anyone else have an idea?

  15. Reality Seeker says:

    Excellent story!

  16. Adrian says:

    Might not be a bad idea to require all government agencies to hire disabled people exclusively as officers to approve or disapprove benefits. If nothing else it would weed out most applicants looking for handouts when they are confronted with someone who truly understands what pain and suffering truly is

  17. James says:

    Robert, did you ever find that Forbes article on that guy that made millions as an airplane broker? It was in your audio book on Recasting. I have tried to find it, but no luck yet.

  18. NZ Steve says:

    Editorial: What Goes Around Comes Around –….