Being oppressed does not necessarily result in victims, but sitting and waiting for someone else to lift you out of your oppressive state does. Immediately images of Palestine, Burma, Iraq, Syria and other downtrodden communities come to mind, for most anyway. However, this state of victim-hood happens on a daily basis in the most arrogant and privileged among us.

We often look for signs of being victims in people that appear helpless and incapable of fending for or defending themselves. Perhaps this is part of the psyche that drives us to denounce our own state of victim-hood. I’ve often suggested that anger is driven by fear, and fear is in turn driven by insecurity. Given that victims are generally insecure, either physically or emotionally, it stands to reason then that those that are angry more often than not are most probably the biggest victims among us. However, given that anger is often used to subdue others, it’s easy to see the target of such aggression as being the weak, and the aggressors as being the strong. This is very far from the truth of it all.

I’m not suggesting that the aggressors should earn our sympathy, because that would be further adding to the imbalance in society that aggressors create. Rather, what I am suggesting is that if we recognise the victim-hood in the aggressors, we’ll recognise their weakness. If we recognise their weakness, we stand a chance of rising above their oppression and finding ways to undo that which gives them power over others. Stop thinking about this in the context of war and crime. It’s easy to be distracted by those because of the unfortunate prevalence of it all. Instead, think about in the context of an ordinary life.

There is always someone looking to assert their superiority over others. But there’s rarely enough to recognise that such an effort results from an insecurity that drives us to seek such significance because we don’t believe we’re significant by default. It’s easy to succumb to oppression because we have a world celebrating the victim-hood of all with the aggressor being life. Just yesterday I heard that a child that throws tantrums at least three times a month for the period of a year is deemed to have a psychological disorder. Where I come from, it’s a parenting disorder, not a psychological one. The fact that the parents are inept primarily because of their own insecurities further cements the views I’ve shared about the oppression that results from victim-hood. But we’re unfortunately conditioned to believe that victims should be meek creatures waiting for a hand up, while forgetting that in waiting for a hand up we give up our right to take a stand for ourselves.

Standing up should not be the act of a hero, or a brave soul. Like Stefan Molyneux said, “Anytime you create a hero, you diminish your own capacity for greatness.” Similarly, each time you wait for a hand up, you reduce your own capacity to be you. To be independent. To be a master of your life, rather than a victim.

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