We live in a world where everything that goes wrong in our lives is someone or something elses fault. It seems to be the way of our world. When something happens we don’t usually look at the person and hold them responsible for their actions. We often look at reasons why they may have behaved the way they did. And although there are reasons for their actions, they are not the cause. Recently the world was appalled at the shooting which happened in Las Vegas. It was a terrible tragedy and a lot of people were forever impacted by the choices of one man. And within hours people began to search for the reasons behind the shooting. We all were hungry for an answer to the question why. What would cause a man to do this kind of thing.
There have been many other such instances that have happened over the years and some can be attributed to ideologies and beliefs which allow people to do these kinds of things. We see this often in the news with ISIS. And there are many other ideologies in our world that decree violence is the answer. But I have also seen many times the people blame the circumstances of a persons life. Their childhood was traumatic, or they didn’t have a proper role model or influence. They were from a lower part of society which didn’t have many opportunities or options, or many other ways to explain people’s behaviours.
The problem with this line of thinking is it takes away from our responsibility for our choices. Most estimates say that 90-95% of your life is outside of your control. And when we give away responsibility for our choices we acutally become a victim of whatever environment we live in. And that mentality can be extremely hard to overcome. The minute we give up ownership of our choices, and thereby responsibility we declare that life has made us the way we are and we are not responsible and are therefore a victim. I used to say my brother made me mad growing up. It is a common phrase many people use. The problem is we are again in a victim mode saying something other than ourselves is responsible. I still here the response I used to get, “Your brother didn’t make you mad, you chose to be mad because of what your brother did.”
The common thing we all face every day is the reality of suffering. All of our lives have difficulty and struggle. All people everywhere have pain and suffering. It is a part of our world, and a part of being alive. It is the world we created. And you cannot compare suffering. Someone else may be having a more difficult time than you are currently, and someone else might be seeming to be doing better. What we need to see is that no matter what happens in our lives, and no matter how tragic our circumstances feel we all have the choice to respond to those situations.
Any time you give away your ability to choose you become a victim. All of us have the opportunity to overcome our circumstances and become better. We have all seen people rise from great tragedy and hardship to levels of greatness. Nelson Mandella comes to mind. And we have all seen the news where someone who seemingly had life in hand causes great pain and suffering like the man in Las Vegas recently. At no time can we give away responsibility for our lives and choices. God is holding us accountable even if we are unwilling to. We are the only ones responsible for who we are and what we are becoming. And only we can determine the height of our growth and development. The choice is before us all. Who will we become in spite of what happens to us. Anything less means you are choosing to be a victim.