Among the billions of people on Earth, there are two types of people that need to be discussed. Victims and world changers. It is very likely that you know a few of both.
They have two distinct attitudes, world views, and behaviors.
Victims– They live by the “why”. “Why me?” “Why do bad things happen?” “Why do I have to suffer?” etc.
World Changers– They live by the “how”. “How can we fix this?” “How are we going to make this happen?” “How can I change my situation?”
I was at a fundraiser a few months ago, and the guest speaker put it so perfectly. She said that people can ask 2 types of questions– paralyzing questions or productive questions (why vs. how). I would like to work from her idea and say that the victims tend to ask the paralyzing questions, and therefore remain victims in their own minds. World changers ask the productive questions, and are able to move forward.
I can sense that some feathers will get ruffled by this assertion, so let me clarify: there are also two types of victims. We all know people who have been injured, abused, wounded emotionally, and have been placed in circumstances far beyond their ability to control or cope with. But consider what they did with those circumstances. Think of the individuals you know. Did they sink lower and lower, remaining trapped in their own miseries? Or did they rise above, proving character and perseverance, and inspire others to hope? I guess when I refer to “victims”, I am more referring to the “victim mentality” than actual situations. We all have coworkers, classmates, family members, etc who live this way. “Woe is me, nothing is ever right, my life is so difficult”, you know the story and it gets old really quickly.
World changers, though, they are wonderful people to be around. They could have the exact same circumstances– the cancer, the loss, the abuse, the poverty– but embrace a completely different attitude. Instead of saying “Why me?”, they say “How can I rise above?” “How can I live with joy, to glorify God, or to encourage others?”
One of the greatest world changers who recently passed on was Nelson Mandela. That man. Oh, that man. Think about who he was. Think about what he did, with his life, with his hurts, with the needs of his countrymen. Think of the changes that would have never been if he embraced a perpetual pity party during his years of imprisonment. He chose forgiveness, he chose boldness, he chose firmness and peace in his heart and actions. The entire world witnessed what can happen when someone walks in love with a determination for justice in watching his life.
I am not a mother, nor do I have any prospects of that happening any time soon. I am an auntie though, to an 11 year old boy and a few sweet toddlers (that I claim from friends). If I could sit them down and teach them one thing, it would be all about attitude. Life will throw you many curve balls. Things will be completely unfair. People will hurt you. People have hurt me. How you choose to respond, and then live your life is what matters. If you choose to be the victim, you will always be getting kicked while you’re down. If you choose to be an overcomer, a world changer, a person of character, then you will stand with a clear head and heart. You will walk forward in what you know is right, regardless of circumstances, and you will walk in complete confidence.
I needed to tell myself this today, as well.