Are You the Hero or the Victim?

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If your life was a story, would you be the hero or the victim?

Life has no shortage of misery, tragedy, and suffering. Both the hero and the victim experience the same suffering and hardships. They’re both victimized, but the hero refuses to stay a victim while the victim finds their identity in victimhood and suffering. The hero transcends their suffering and rather than identifying with their victimhood, the hero finds their identity in conquering adversity.

Every victimized person I’ve met has known incredibly tragic circumstances. They’ve faced horrible suffering and misfortune I wouldn’t wish on anyone. Interestingly though, the most admirable and heroic people I know have also experienced suffering and tragic circumstances… dare I say even comparable. Both the heroes and victims I’ve seen in the world have known darkness beyond comprehension. But our response to this darkness is what matters.

The fog of darkness comes for us all. The victim cowers in the shadows while the hero stands and moves forward. The victim defines their life through their misery and misfortune, but the hero strives valiantly upwards and onwards. While the victim curses the darkness, the hero lights a candle.

Even in victimhood, we can all be heroic. But some of us chose to cling to our circumstances and cry “this is me.” When faced with the option of transcending our situation and rising above the tragedies of life, we’re faced with two possibilities: we can define ourselves in our suffering and remain victims, or we can define ourselves as that who moves forward heroically in spite of our suffering and triumphs over darkness.



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Matthew McKenna

When facing hardship and burned by flame / We look to myth for where to aim / As stories of old were understood / Extract the gold and make it good.