Shootin' the Breeze

and random targets

Victimhood as a Choice

The advantage of being a victim of life’s circumstances is that you are not at fault and thus can blame others, including God, for your problems and failures.

I am not talking about  fault as in causation; obviously, crime victims or accident victims harmed by the negligence of another did not cause what happened to them, but neither do victims of disease or abuse.  I am talking about choices in how to react to what happened.

I am talking about making excuses rather than making efforts to overcome even things that are not your fault.

I am talking about the dangers of self pity.

For example, if only Archie Manning was my father, I would be an NFL quarterback like Peyton and Eli, but as it is, I did not have a chance.  All of us whose fathers are not Archie Manning have a great excuse.  Let us blame our own fathers and, of course, God.  Life is so unfair to people who see life that way.

I admire people who do not see life that way.  Wise people know that there are blessings and troubles in everyone’s life, even for Peyton Manning.

My Uncle Luke was an excellent athlete.  He was actually a Major League pitcher.  God blessed him with talents that he used.  He also had an injury to his throwing arm.  I never heard him say if that was his fault or his coach’s fault or God’s fault.  It is just something that happened which ended his pitching career.  But that was a small part of his life.

Luke played the organ and had his own radio show.  He was a local celebrity.  He was a top car salesman, even with a bum arm.

Luke had the gift of enthusiasm. He was cheerful.  He was friendly.  He would greet people from across the street, calling them by name.  People liked it that he knew who they were, that he liked them, and that he knew their names.

When he changed from the Ford dealer to the Chevy dealer, most of his Ford customers decided to buy Chevrolets because the brand did not matter as much as it was important to buy their car from Luke.  What mattered was that Luke knew them and would take care of them.  They trusted Luke more than the car manufacturers.  Plus, it was fun to make the deal with Luke and enjoy his sense of humor.  Everyone felt that Luke gave them the best deal, so they came back again and again.

Luke had a habit of creating nicknames for other people.  I liked my nickname.  He called me Tarzan because I was a competitive swimmer.  He did not pressure me to be a pitcher in Little League.  I was a catcher and that was okay with him.  Imagine how fun it was for me to introduce Uncle Luke to my Little League friends.  (You will be surprised to read herein that I did not play in the Major Leagues.  Sad but true.  How unfair of God towards me.)

Another baseball connection was that Luke, like Lou Gehrig, was afflicted with A.L.S., commonly called “Lou Gehrig’s Disease.”

I never heard Uncle Luke complain.  If he did not complain, maybe I should not either.

Thanks, Luke, for the example of excellence, cheerfulness, and courage.

Thanks, God, for Uncle Luke being in my life.                              

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27 thoughts on “Victimhood as a Choice

  1. May we call you Tarzan, too? 😉 Thank you for sharing about your Uncle Luke with us…We would all do well to follow his example of “excellence, cheerfulness, and courage.”

  2. I like this one alot!!!! Do you recon it will be OK if I re-blog this baby for the MS&D Saturday Post?

  3. Well, Tarzan, I absolutely loved this post. I need to read it every day. Particularly the first line.
    I don’t think that I truly blame others for things that are my own fault–or things that I should take ownership of–but then again, I’m guessing I probably do. Either way, it is an excellent reminder.
    Great post.
    Wish I would’ve met Luke. Glad I’ve “met” you though. 🙂
    My nickname was Sam. That’s a long story (has something to do with my horse).

  4. Failure to take responsibility started with Cain–as in Cain and Able. And speaking of Peyton Manning, he took it like a man when the Colts released him. Unlike many many “fans” I just followed him and have a great deal of respect for him because, at least the press, never heard or reported any anger.

  5. Awesome, Cowboy! You had briefly told me about uncle Luke before, but it’s really good to hear more details of his life. What an inspiration! Thanks for this encouraging post!

  6. Reblogged this on a disciple of Jesus's Blog and commented:
    Great perspective

  7. I think that being a “victim” takes a lot of personal responsibility off of you. If your life isn’t going the way you’d like it, if you’re unhappy, underemployed, under-educated, under-stimulated and just generally feel like you’re not living up to your potential, I can understand how it might be somewhat alleviating and comforting to place the blame elsewhere. Sometimes I think that’s why people stay married to people they don’t like or stay in a job they hate…if they lose that clutch, they’ve lost the thing that “victimizes” them, the thing they can blame their unhappiness on. Without that, they’re responsible for their own happiness, and that’s kind of a scary place to be. Can you imagine being unhappily married for 20 years, getting divorced then being just as unhappy? This would mean there may be something fundamentally wrong with you besides the situation you were in, and this probably requires a lot more work and effort to change!

  8. Great story Tarzan! It’s so true for all of us to learn. We all have gifts, talents and life-changing circumstances that make us who we are. Everyone seems to have someone else to blame for their problems now days.

  9. This is a great perspective. It’s so easy to complain when things are not going well. I will reblog this. Thank you!

  10. This is definitely what the Spirit is saying this week, I’ve seen it so many places, including in my own life!

  11. Reblogged this on Whole Hearted Mama and commented:
    Amazing post from a fellow blogger…

  12. Thank you. You have addressed something that I have struggled with often lately. I will file this where I can read it often.

  13. Great story. I survived domestic abuse and decided I wasn’t going to be cripple myself by being a victim the rest of my life. Uncle Luke made the right choice and as a result, people were drawn to him for all the right reasons. Folks run in the opposite direction if you’re constantly having a pity party.

    • I am sorry that you were abused. No one should have to endure that. However, you understood that you had a choice about how to deal with your circumstances regardless of fault.
      I have also written about “selfish forgiveness.” Forgive even a person who does not “deserve” forgiveness so that you do not hold yourself back by being bitter. It is hard for me to do, but I try to do that for that selfish reason for one thing, but also because Jesus taught us to pray for forgiveness as we forgive those who have trespassed against us.

  14. While I believe this was a timely reblog (WordPress keeps changing), what a marvelous story and message, sir. Indeed, when one is afflicted with an incurable disease, it is easy to blame others or fall into depression. We see your good Uncle Luke was an optimist and kept moving on.

    And I agree with the nickname of Tarzan he gave you because it gave you Jane. Besides, your Jane is much, much more beautiful.

  15. Beautiful story. I have huge admiration for men and women who have the kind of character and fortitude as your uncle.

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